David Bowie + Tom Waits & Keith Richards | Track reviews
Three pop icons, a postscript and a pirate song.
Published: January 17, 2013
“Where Are We Now?”
At his creative peak, David Bowie’s career was as remarkable for his relentless makeovers as it was for the actual records. Now, after years of inhabiting various personas in the name of pop, Bowie’s begun to tinker with his own. The loaded cover art to The Next Day, his first album in a decade, superimposes an opaque white square with the title over the artwork for his 1977 album “Heroes.” It’s playful, though that doesn’t necessarily translate to fun. “Where Are We Now?,” the first single, unfolds slowly, a somber and relatively stout piano ballad that finds Bowie reflecting on his years in Berlin. The tune impressively shakes off the time stamp worn by most of Bowie’s output in the three decades since Let’s Dance, and as he stoically marches toward the end of the song with anthemic pomp, floating lyrics like “As long as there’s me / As long as there’s you,” that meta album cover begins to make perfect sense, suggesting an addendum to “Heroes.”