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Songs of Mortality

13 January 2016 8:56 AM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

David Bowie: Blackstar (Iso/Columbia/Sony)

At first, I wished I'd gotten and listened to Blackstar before Bowie left us. Then I would have had an opportunity to judge it dispassionately, without the sense of loss and the desire to pay tribute altering my response. But as I listened to his slightly frayed voice on my second time through the album, I was reminded of Warren Zevon's far more ravaged voice on his last album, when we all knew he was dying, and I realized that any review written before Bowie's death would be missing Blackstar's ultimate context.

Before that, media reactions were focused on the fact that he'd recorded with a local jazz group led by saxophonist Donnie McCaslin. I'd listened once to the first track we'd been teased with in advance of the album's release, the title track, and I'd thought, "this is not jazz" (though »

- SteveHoltje

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