Artist: David Bowie
Album: Nothing Has Changed
Release Date: 11/17/2014
It’s almost hard to imagine that there’s anything to say about David Bowie that hasn’t already been said. After all, the release of Nothing Has Changed marks, if you can believe it, 50 years of Bowie; half a century has passed since the release of his first recording, “Liza Jane,” in 1964.
Ever a fan of paradox and wordplay, Bowie makes two claims on this “definitive collection” of his work. One, as the title suggests, paired with an elegant picture of the aged artist himself, that “Nothing Has Changed,” and two, as we see in bold typeface when we open the deluxe CD set and are met with younger photos of the man, that in fact “everything has changed.”
The truth, I suppose, lies somewhere in between.
Bowie seems to have gracefully adapted to the times, with his new song, “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime),” showing the maturity of his voice and thematics on a luxurious, winding track that exemplifies a seasoned musician exploring a new, more jazz infused style. Embracing the new, his first disc contains several remixes, such as the popular Hello Steve Reich Remix of “Love is Lost” by James Murphy and the Pet Shop Boys Remix of “Hallo Spaceboy.” In addition to the remixes, Bowie offers plenty of new goodies for longtime fans, including a new version of the older Bowie rarity “Let Me Sleep Beside You,” which was to appear on Bowie’s unreleased 2001 album, Toy.
Clearly, Bowie shows us that he can stay new and relevant. From his latest track to his first release, he has produced a body of work that flows seamlessly as a whole, his older music standing up effortlessly over time, and his newer music fitting both into his past work and its current moment. Working backwards through his considerable oeuvre, the three-disc collection shows that from the day he began recording, he has always been a brilliant and complex lyricist, and that smooth, cool, androgynous sexuality is ever present.
Whether you believe nothing has changed, or that perhaps everything has, there’s still no denying that David Bowie is a master of his craft and has created a daring and endlessly inventive oeuvre that is as pleasurable for first time listeners as it is for lifelong fans.
– Emily Gawlak