David Bowie

David Bowie-Nothing Has ChangedDavid Bowie
Nothing Has Changed
Columbia/Legacy
by David Chiu

The title of David Bowie’s new compilation is somewhat ironic and an understatement given that throughout his 50-year recording career, the rock legend has always changed his image and musical direction – in the process, he started trends rather than following them. From Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke to New Romantic Soul Boy to respected rock elder statesman, Bowie always followed his own muse and the results for the most part have been so satisfying and influential. On this new 3-CD career-spanning overview, Bowie takes a somewhat unconventional approach by beginning with his present songs and continuing backwards. Nothing Has Changed kicks off with his newest song “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)”– this seven-minute plus ambitious experimental song sounds more in the vein of Ornette Coleman with its free jazz-meets-orchestra mix—again untypical Bowie as usual. There are also a couple of previously unreleased tracks that finally make their debut on a Bowie record: “Let Me Sleep Beside You,” a terrific melodic rocker from the 2001 Toy sessions; “Shadow Man,” a very eloquent and expressive ballad originally from 1971 that was re-recorded also from 2001; and “You’re Turn to Drive,” an elegant and soulful funk-rock song. The rest of the compilation contains the usual cornerstone cuts, from last year’s surprise comeback The Next Day to 1969’s David Bowie. And making the circle complete is the inclusion of Bowie’s most earliest pre-Space Oddity songs when he was known as Davy Jones, going back as far as his debut single, 1964’s “Liza Jane.” Then again, the title of this set can be interpreted another way: one can say that it’s an affirmation that Bowie has been and always will remain unpredictable. And that’s why we love him so much for five decades of the most innovative music in pop history.

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