Blackstar

by David Bowie

Released January 8, 2016 via ISO / Columbia Records / Sony Music

Reviewed January 7, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Blackstar (85%), Lazarus (75%), I Can’t Give Everything Away (39%)

David Bowie’s untimely death went on to give more emotional weight to his final release, which was already the darkest effort he made. He tackles the inevitably of death head on with a challenging and multi-faceted work that combines pop, jazz, industrial, and experimental music together to create a desolate atmosphere to ruminate in. From the opening to the painful ending, Bowie created one last masterpiece to leave the planet with before departing back to the stars. – Jared (9.5/10)


David Bowie’s final effort serves as the ultimate capstone to one of rock music’s most illustrious careers. While Bowie’s diagnosis of liver cancer was unknown to the public prior, the world lost an icon just two days after the release of Blackstar. Tragic and unfortunate as it was, all signs point to Bowie having accepted his fate, coming to peace with his mortality, and channelling every last bit of life he had left into his art. The lyrics of Blackstar very evidently center around Bowie confronting the end of the road head on. But focusing on the musicality of it, there’s a sense of peace and comfort regarding what lies beyond as Bowie traverses a diverse landscape of sounds that incorporate jazz, rock, folk, industrial, and even hip-hop. – Dominick (8.5/10)


2016 was home to a few rather large farewells of the music world, none necessarily of greater or lesser importance than the other. But the way in which Mr. David Jones took his final step, will go down—or rather has gone down—as a thing of sheer artistic beauty. Blackstar, Bowie's final statement and one of the finest albums of the last decade, was released on the January 8, 2016—Bowie's 69th birthday to be precise. He would pass away just two days later. Out of context, this album still packs power—but within said context, it acts as a premonition of sorts, a knowing of one's fate and fully embracing it. Staring down the barrel of mortality and producing a work of great weight and worth; Bowie has more life in him while knocking on death's door than most in their prime. If there was ever a way to do it, this is it. These sorts of things can't be planned, only destined. There hasn't been a more fitting curtain call in the music business. – Peter (8.5/10)


Cam: 9.5/10 | Hadley: 9.5/10 | Jared: 9/10 | Dominick: 8.5/10 | Enth: 8.5/10

Peter: 8.5/10 | DeVán: 8/10 | Alan: 7.7/10