Mar. 17th, 2013

askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
Yesterday, finally, my copy of David Bowie's The Next Day arrived.  I've been avoiding reading reviews as I hate to have my first listen tainted by reviews when I plan to buy an album no matter what (naturally, reviews can provide me the reason to purchase an album which is an entirely different dynamic).

I set aside time today and listened to it twice through, back to back.  In brief, I think the second half is stronger and up until Where are We Now? came on I would characterise my response to the tracks to have been cautiously disappointed.

I'm not going to review the album in full though, there are plenty of better qualified and more thoughtful sources for that out there.  What I want to talk about is what I heard in that album.

With almost every track, I heard an echo of an earlier track or album.  Where Are We Now? had reminded me of Heathen and Reality from the first listen so I was expecting more of that, instead, The Next Day is more eclectic though and Bowie's voice, influence, and lyrical content seems a vignette of a past him.  

This is Bowie, clearly he doesn't do anything accidentally, but can he produce something original any more?  Could he, if he chose, pull out a new Bowie from the bag - not this newest Bowie incarnation - the old man looking back on himself -?  Year on year I find my own creativity waning.  I try and console myself that my PhD study is itself an act of creativity - thinking new thoughts, making new connections.  But the kind of bold creativity that comes with naivety and youth?  That's more elusive.

Confronted with a pile of lego what would you make? What would you do with what you made? I think I could still knock out a house, car, space station, but creating a story for it? Beyond me.  The art of play - we broadly accept we lose it, I think, but is resignation the right response?  I understand story tellers, actors, sculptors, they retain it, but even then its constrained, within boundaries and frameworks of intelligibility.  They can still access it though, more than I can.  Is that imagination or practice?  

There's a certain loneliness to having a bounded internal world, one that doesn't take a leap to a new landscape when prompted.  Is there a key to be found to reopen that door or is a muscle that wastes from under-use?


askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
a sky gone on fire

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