Musical Vibes: Album Review: David Bowie – BlackStar (One Last Punch)

Written by Islam Hafez


Black Star Cover
Black Star Digital Cover

For the love, respect and personal inspiration I (Islam) owe to this artist, I thought ‘I want my first album review with you guys to be about this man… This legend!’. Maybe in the following weeks, if you liked today’s article (and maybe showed that in the comments below) we’d write more reviews of both older and newer albums.

This genre-bending album blends pop, free Jazz, Rock and some hip-hop for the first time in his career. Let’s get down to the tracks:


1.    BlackStar

This is a “really fitting epitaph” as CtV wrote

He’s a black star! He’s the celebrity of all celebrities but still he’s an outcast, doesn’t fit a lot, or maybe too awesome and great to fit!
I need to write a separate review on the video itself. It’s like everything you’d expect from Mr Bowie: the dark elegance, the blurry soundscapes, the stylish dwelling, except this time with a vulnerable old man with a wider vocal range!


2.    ‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore

Somehow as I heard it takes its title from a playwright from the 17th century.

The music here is all about the sax (screams specifically), drum and bass, mixed together in a pretty exotic way. The song winds up to the climax where you feel like Bowie is pushing the sax to play harder and scream higher! Mr Bowie -like he always did- gives us some uncanny gender-bending lyrics like he always used to she punched me like a dude”.


3.    Lazarus

This melancholic haze of swirling saxophones and the Jazz-but-also-Rock buzz with lyrics that sound now like a farewell “look up here, I’m in heaven. I got scars that can’t be seen”. Even the opening lyric itself would bring up tears to your eyes. When you watch the spooky video -that he shot a day before he died- and get his message, you then get the chills! I love and hate that piece of post-punk sorrow so freakin’ much!


4.    Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)

From the first few seconds it gets you attached to its hyper-kinetic music and your ears demand for more even if it doesn’t sound like studio-quality but who said these irregular beats need studios anyways!


5.    Girl Loves Me

Who the hell is “Cheena”? And also “where the **** did Monday go?” We shall never know! These cool layers of synth funky beats are so catchy and tight! And this song has a lot to do with the famous “A Clockwork Orange” and not only using some of its slang!


6.    I Can’t Give Everything

Here and only here you can listen to the only guitar solo, the true farewell guitar solo! When the album reaches its climax and he himself sounds his most frustrated and fragile, he finally dumps the complex rhythms to give us the steady electronic rhythm. I love the line saying no but meaning yes, this is all I ever meant” though.


MV 4

First album in 1969, died at the age of 69, David freakin’ Bowie still plays with our minds and hearts.

Thank you Mr Bowie, for your weirdness  <3

So, What do you think?

Did you enjoy this week’s album review? Are you a David Bowie fan? If so, which of these tracks do you like best? Finally, would you like another album review and, if yes, which? Tell us in the comments!



Mariem El Tagoury

I am a graduate from German University Cairo. Reading novels is my passion and writing is my release. My guilty pleasures include fashion & playing around with my make-up kit. A couple of years back when I was introduced to the online world, back in 2007; I was quite surprised that in spite of the presence of thousands of young Egyptians who follow the online sphere daily, there wasn’t one site that represented us or our lifestyle. [Later we’d come to see the rise of the political, religion, social-elite, and foodie websites, but still the voice of the average Cairene youth was missing.] I was glad to find out that I wasn’t the only one who had the feeling of the outsider on the internet, that’s why I decided to gather a team to fill a gap & finally find our place online and give Cairo’s youth a real voice that reflects its true culture. I hope you find our site interesting with a new view of life. Besides running the magazine & editing, I write the “Sans Sugarcoating” column, pardon my french, and a couple of other stuff around here! If you want to contact me, my email is [email protected]; you can also use our contact form or email directly to [email protected]

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