Review: A year on from the untimely demise of arguably the most influential British musician of the last fifty years, and on the eve of what would have been his seventieth birthday, here we have the opportunity to view his whole jaw-dropping career across the course of two slabs of wax. From the cosmic dread of 'Space Oddity' all the way to the reflective melancholy of 'I Can't Give Everything Away', it's a magnificent testimony to a restless muse that never stopped moving into unchartered territory in search of new adventure. These songs will outlive us all.
Review: Surely not even the most ardent Bowie fan saw any of this coming. Yet to offset the justified grief and mourning at the most otherworldly and mercurial of all musical icons departing our realm, he's left us with one of his greatest albums to date and certainly his best in a full quarter century - one that returns him spiritually to the dizzying collision of bracing experimentation and melodious drama that typified the so-called Berlin trilogy of the '70s yet transplants that ambience to a new more complicated age. Jazzy inflections, electronic filigree and stark soundscapes collide elegantly amidst that stentorian voice, and whether or not Bowie put this together as a farewell, he couldn't have done it better if he'd tried. We'll truly never see his like again, alas.
Review: Following the release of Iggy Pop's last full length, Post Pop Depression, the much loved punk professional has teamed up with pioneering electronic dance musos Underworld (think "Born Slippy") via the request of Rick Smith. Album opener, "Bells & Circles", sees Iggy relive the days when you could smoke on an aeroplane, and in his case pick up an air hostess, while a rich and throaty yet somewhat forlorn 'hey' in "I'll See Big" offers a classic, almost narrated number of nostalgia, with a hint of reverb adding a sweetness to a not so bitter regalement of times gone by. Meanwhile, "Get Your Shirt" pitches the bliss of 80s new wave with mid-90s rave to create a glittering, electro pop jam fit for the stadium or Soho club. The glory years may be a memory for this formidable tripod however their sounds, combined, still hit the sweet spot.
David Bowie/The Rebels - "Revolutionary Song" (4:42)
Marlene Dietrich - "Just A Gigolo" (3:34)
Review: Here's something to get Bowie fans hot under the collar: a first worldwide pressing of the Thin White Duke's "Revolutionary Song", his only contribution to the soundtrack of 1978 West German flick "Just A Gigolo", in which he also starred alongside silver screen legend Marlene Dietrich. The song was recorded with a local band of musicians hastily dubbed "The Rebels" and sees Bowie in classic crooner mode, adding his distinctive vocals to a jangly, largely acoustic number that's effectively a folksy take on waltz. Over on side B there's a chance to enjoy one of Marlene Dietrich's last ever recordings: an atmospheric cover of 1930s cabaret standard "Just A Gigolo" which ended up being the movie's title track.
Review: Now approaching a half-century of artistic life as the closest we have to a living personification of rock 'n' roll, Iggy Pop nonetheless also continues to carry himself with more class and style than most any lifer that springs to mind. Yet it has to be said that few were expecting the cadaverous king to make his greatest album for thirty of those years, and this is what 'Post Pop Depression' his collaboration with a dream team involving luminaries such as Josh Homme, Dean Fertita and The Arctic Monkeys' Matt Helders is exactly that - a wry, restrained and ice-cool meditation on carnality and mortality without cliche or rehash, this album is all primal satisfaction and righteous revelation.