The Next Day

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
David Bowie makes an unexpected return from an unofficial retirement with The Next Day, his first album since 2003's Reality. Once again, Bowie is working with producer Tony Visconti -- the man who helmed many of Bowie's classic '70s albums, along with his last two studio albums from the early 2000s -- and this is not the only familiar face here, with guitarist Earl Slick being the most prominent of the returning musicians. The first single, "Where Are We Now," is a moody rumination on Bowie's groundbreaking time in Berlin during the '70s, but the rest of the album is louder and tougher, which is one of many surprises The Next Day has in store.
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
David Bowie makes an unexpected return from an unofficial retirement with The Next Day, his first album since 2003's Reality. Once again, Bowie is working with producer Tony Visconti -- the man who helmed many of Bowie's classic '70s albums, along with his last two studio albums from the early 2000s -- and this is not the only familiar face here, with guitarist Earl Slick being the most prominent of the returning musicians. The first single, "Where Are We Now," is a moody rumination on Bowie's groundbreaking time in Berlin during the '70s, but the rest of the album is louder and tougher, which is one of many surprises The Next Day has in store.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Say this for David Bowie: he has a flair for drama. This abiding love of the theatrical may not be as evident in the production of The Next Day as it is in its presentation, how Bowie sprung it upon the world early in 2013 following a decade of undeclared retirement. Reasons for Bowie's absence were many and few, perhaps related to a health scare in 2004, perhaps due to a creative dry spell, perhaps he simply didn't have songs to sing, or perhaps he had a lingering suspicion that by the time the new millennium was getting into full swing he was starting to be taken for granted. He had settled into a productive purple patch in the late '90s, a development that was roundly ignored by all except the devoted and the press, who didn't just give Hours, Heathen, and Reality a pass, they recognized them as a strong third act in a storied career. That same sentiment applies to The Next Day, an album recorded with largely the same team as Reality -- the same musicians and the same producer, his longtime lieutenant Tony Visconti -- and, appropriately, shares much of the same moody, meditative sound as its predecessor Heathen. What's different is the reception, which is appropriately breathless because Bowie has been gone so long we all know what we've missed. And The Next Day is designed to remind us all of why we've missed him, containing hints of the Thin White Duke and Ziggy Stardust within what is largely an elegant, considered evocation of the Berlin Bowie so calculating it opens with a reworking of "Beauty & The Beast," and is housed in an artful desecration of the Heroes LP cover. Unlike his Berlin trilogy of the late '70s, The Next Day is rarely unsettling. Apart from the crawling closer "Heat" -- a quiet, shimmering, hallucination-channeling late-'70s Scott Walker -- the album has been systematically stripped of eeriness, trading discomfort for pleasure at every turn. And pleasure it does deliver, as nobody knows how to do classic Bowie like Bowie and Visconti, the two life-long collaborators sifting through their past, picking elements that relate to what Bowie is now: an elder statesman who made a conscious decision to leave innovation behind long ago. This persistent, well-manicured nostalgia could account for the startling warmth that exudes from The Next Day; even when a melody sighs with an air of resigned melancholia, as it does on "Where Are We Now?," it never delves into sadness, it stays afloat in a warm, soothing bath. That overwhelming familiarity is naturally quite appealing for anyone well-versed in Bowie lore, but The Next Day isn't a career capper; it lacks the ambition to be anything so grand. The Next Day neither enhances nor diminishes anything that came before, it's merely a sweet coda to a towering career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/12/2013
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 887654618627
  • Catalog Number: 546186
  • Sales rank: 10,914

Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Bowie Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Earl Slick Guitar
David Torn Guitar
Gail Ann Dorsey Bass, Background Vocals
Zachary Alford Percussion, Drums
Sterling Campbell Drums, Tambourine
Steve Elson Contrabass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
Tony Levin Bass
Janice Pendarvis Background Vocals
Tony Visconti Bass, Guitar, Strings, Recorder
Gerry Leonard Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Antoine Silverman Strings
Henry Hey Piano
Hiroko Taguchi Strings
Anja Wood Strings
Maxim Moston Strings
Technical Credits
David Bowie Composer, Producer, String Arrangements
Jerry Lordan Composer
Dave McNair Mastering
Tony Visconti Producer, Engineer, String Arrangements
Gerry Leonard Composer
Sukita Portrait Photography
Mario McNulty Engineer
Jimmy King Portrait Photography
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