With its many perks and glories, fame can be a deceptive trap. Old age can squander any star athlete's sports career, but this is not the case with music. Call it a blessing, but also call it a curse.
The Rolling Stones can without a doubt be considered one of the greatest bands to ever make music, but I am probably not the only one that finds issue with a man my grandpa's age jumping around on stage swinging his hips while wearing skinny jeans. The music is not the issue; its just that image.
With the release of Reality in 2003, David Bowie entered himself into an elite category of musical artists, alongside the Rolling Stones, whose career spanned five decades. Its is a remarkable feat for an artist to remain relevant through 50 years of music, withstanding the test of time amidst an ever-changing musical landscape. After a number of rather quiet years went by without any talks of a new single or album, many thought that Bowie's day was done; he himself throwing in the towel while Mick Jagger and co. continued to push on, for better or for worse.
But 2013 changed that, marking this to be Bowie's sixth decade with a new album. Titled The Next Day and scheduled for release this March, the album is Bowie's 27th. The announcement also came with a brand new single titled "Who Are We Now?". Bowie's new song drives straight to that question. "Who Are We Now?" is very much a song about relevance and identity in a new era; a man so familiar, yet still "lost in time."
Throughout his five previous decades, Bowie's fame has rested on his ability to devise new styles and characters, from the Ziggy Stardust to The Thin White Duke. In many cases, Bowie was the one who started the trends, setting the new cool that every other artist feverishly tried to latch on to. Certainly the golden days of Ziggy Stardust are in the past, and call that a curse. But Who Are We Now is every bit a great new David Bowie to look forward to. And maybe, most importantly, this is a David Bowie who can play upon his rich, six decade history in the music industry and not jump back on stage wearing this at age 66. Call that a blessing.