Acting out some serious Scott Walker late-career critical entitlement there.
(Mind you, completely fucking exhausted-bored with the idea of Scott Walker right now, as I am with *snooooze* Sun O))): two project-processes that feel like they've come to the end of... something: hrrrm: my patience with them, probably. So, like a failing / flailing business that partners with another failing / flailing business (NxtBgThng, btw: superficially ill-matched private ventures partnering with other private ventures. Tesco // Amazon, anyone?), so the idea of an Unlikely Idiot Glee Gestalt - a disinclined combo, a commingling of Seeming Opposites - is rapidly taken-up by critic and fan alike. The Emperor's and the Archduke's New Clothes in one expensive, deluxe, handsomely-produced wardrobe).
Fangless, young-whelp music-writers saying new Bowiesprawl is up there with career-best highlights. Really? If you think it's that's good, then go and listen to some Thelonius Monk or Gil Evans. *patronisinglittlewaveoflimplefthand*
Weirdly, for something that's so superficially elaborate / long / conceptual (actually, none of the above-left when you listen), it feels pretty fucking lazy. Take away all the frenzied, frazzled jazznoise, the high-hat and sax bombast - all the stylised huff n puff of a bunch o'seshun-musos who sound like they've been sat on hot-plates or griddles instead of stools - all that squaaaakkin' and pfffarping and generic Sands Hotel razzamatazz - and it's pretty obv. that there's fuck-all underneath.
Just the ghost of Scott Walker - his skull in David's hand, like the prop-cranium at The Tower, Philly, 1974 - and Old Man Bowie in an ill-fitting Madmen Suit - a flashback to Absolute Beginners, here - hiding behind some token 'Jazz' Noizzes ("Keep playin', guys! Keep playin'! David loves it!!!") with a couple of quickly-scribbled lines he wrote on the commode. Just another set of surfaces for him to play with, to peep out from behind, but which he no longer has the energy or nous to fully inhabit. This is default Late Bowie: mock-imperious, haughty, bluffing it and hoping you won't notice or know, that you'll give him the benefit of the doubt. It's all about The Legacy now and he's scared you think Scott is better, that he's still relevant in some way. The desperation shows.
You say: up there with his best.
We say: fuck off back to the school-runs, Mr. Jones,