The Next Day - David Bowie
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Mar 11, 2013
    70
    The Next Day neither enhances nor diminishes anything that came before, it's merely a sweet coda to a towering career.
  2. Mar 11, 2013
    50
    Put quite simply The Next Day is dull.
  3. Mar 11, 2013
    76
    Musically, The Next Day isn't as radical or dreary, as it bounces around from style to style, casually suggesting past greatness while rarely matching it. The production is clean and crisp, almost to a fault, leaving little room for the off-kilter spontaneity that highlights Bowie's best work.
  4. Mar 11, 2013
    100
    The Next Day is a loud, thrilling, steamrollingly confident rock and roll album full of noise, energy, and words that--if as cryptic as ever they were--sound like they desperately need to be sung. [Apr 2013, p.92]
  5. Mar 7, 2013
    80
    The Next Day [is] Bowie's most impassioned and convincing work in decades. [Apr 2013, p.84]
  6. It demands that you listen to it in this moment, not that you give it an easy ride because this is the man who made ‘Heroes’; and its songs more than live up to the demand.
  7. Mar 12, 2013
    91
    The Next Day is not just a strong comeback, but a stunning, resonant piece of expression--an intimate communiqué that whispers at the soul without denying the labyrinth of identity that once made Bowie a self-contained echo chamber.
  8. Mar 12, 2013
    85
    Though it's been 10 years since his previous release, The Next Day is Bowie's most consistent record in twice as much time.
  9. Mar 11, 2013
    100
    The release of The Next Day would have been one of the biggest stories of the year no matter what its quality--the fact that it also happens to be one of the best records of Bowie’s career to date just makes the comeback that much more triumphant.
  10. Mar 4, 2013
    50
    The collision of rhetoric and intentions result in both colorless abstractions like piano ballad and first single "Where Are We Now," and grand melodrama like "You Feel So Lonely You Could Die."
  11. Mar 11, 2013
    80
    There are no duds here, though Bowie definitely misses the hipster mark on occasion.
  12. 75
    A few tracks lack clear antecedents (see: the Jack White-aping “You Will Set the World on Fire”), and some simply lack cohesion, or at least enough melody to anchor them. But Day is also an excellent reminder that Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, and the lunatic who sang Christmas songs with Bing Crosby have all been coexisting in the same brain for decades.
  13. Feb 25, 2013
    80
    An album that's thought-provoking, strange and filled with great songs.
  14. Mar 12, 2013
    85
    The Next Day offers an embarrassment of riches that should keep listeners busy for weeks and months to come.
  15. 80
    One has to dig deep and fight uphill to connect here, but that climb results in a rewarding, fascinating listen.
  16. Mar 14, 2013
    60
    Pop music is never a purely cerebral exercise, and despite its intriguing concept, The Next Day is woefully short on anything to sing along to.
  17. Mar 11, 2013
    80
    Vital, confident, and defiantly alive, Bowie has, with an imperfect but exhilarating album, announced his return to rock's top table. Anything from this point on is a bonus.
  18. Feb 26, 2013
    100
    Innovative, dark, bold and creative, it’s an album only David Bowie could make.
  19. Apr 5, 2013
    80
    You can’t really blame Bowie for conforming to 21st-century quality control when it comes to the sound and scope of this record, but it’s not exactly something to be celebrated either. What deserves celebration, or at least indulgence, are the glimpses of sublime execution on The Next Day, as well as Bowie’s skill in maintaining his mystique after all this time.
  20. Mar 14, 2013
    80
    The Next Day is the best Bowie album in 33 years, but it’s perfectly reasonable to not even call it a top 10 Bowie album.
  21. Mar 11, 2013
    80
    The Next Day offers many sides of a multifaceted artist and almost all of them mesmerizing, as the songs grow richer with each listen.
  22. May 2, 2013
    67
    His innovative days may be long behind him, but Bowie's melodic gifts remain undiminished and his lyrics appropriately ambiguous.
  23. 88
    With 14 magnetic works, the album is so packed with vivid Bowie-isms that it seems like he's been storing away one plump specimen per year so that in the proverbial wintertime he'd be ready for a glorious feast.
  24. Mar 11, 2013
    60
    The Next Day is a good latter-day Bowie record, worthy of at least a few listens, but since it's so evocative of his earlier, better work there's little reason not to put on Scary Monsters or Heroes instead.
  25. Mar 4, 2013
    80
    This is a contemplative, confident record which will only strengthen with further listening.
  26. Apr 24, 2013
    40
    The rest of the album makes the distance between now and (Berlin) then of "Where Are We Now?" painfully evident, a pain heightened by Visconti's failure to convert this collection of session muso workouts into anything memorable. [May 2013, p.55]
  27. Apr 10, 2013
    80
    The Next Day is complex, pissed off and crafty.
  28. Mar 1, 2013
    80
    Each song feels like a separate vignette, but putting your finger on the exact theme isn't easy; more often it's left entirely to the interpretation of the listener.
  29. 90
    The Next Day is very, very good. Purposefully good--the work of someone who seemingly knew that if he was going to come back at all, it had to be with something blessed with brilliance.
  30. There’s a confidence exhibited here that’s refreshing.
  31. 100
    It’s certainly rare to hear a comeback effort that not only reflects an artist’s own best work, but stands alongside it in terms of quality, as The Next Day does.
  32. Feb 26, 2013
    90
    So more than half the album is fantastic, and the rest is very, very strong.
  33. David Bowie's perpetual predicament is that he can't escape David Bowie's past. In that respect, he's just like the rest of us: we can't escape David Bowie's past either. The Next Day leaves you wondering why you'd ever want to.
  34. Mar 11, 2013
    60
    A dense, angry, complex rock album.
  35. 70
    The bottom line is that The Next Day proves that Bowie, whoever he might be, is back, invigorating his listeners even as he stupefies them.
  36. Feb 27, 2013
    91
    Bowie and producer Tony Visconti, who helped shaped his sound in the 1970s as well as produce seven T. Rex records, have struck gold in creating a work that is modern and well-connected to the artist's fabled sonic-past.
  37. Feb 25, 2013
    100
    It is an enormous pleasure to report that the new David Bowie album is an absolute wonder: urgent, sharp-edged, bold, beautiful and baffling, an intellectually stimulating, emotionally charged, musically jagged, electric bolt through his own mythos and the mixed-up, celebrity-obsessed, war-torn world of the 21st century.
  38. Mar 13, 2013
    80
    It’s happy to take the listener on sudden, unexpected, journeys but also to just be exactly what it is; a really great rock album from a man who knows a thing or two about writing really great rock albums.
  39. Mar 11, 2013
    88
    It’s his most consistent and rewarding work since “Scary Monsters and Super Creeps” in 1980.
  40. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    The Next Day is certainly his most engaging and intriguing since Outside. For now, that’s more than enough.
  41. 100
    The vast majority of The Next Day is vibrant, even delirious, roaring with Bowie’s heaviest rockers and teeming with guitar hooks that just beg to be lovingly re-appropriated by James Murphy.
  42. 80
    A vintage Bowie album for vintage Bowie people, of whom there are many; a reflection on his own journey and also on ours. [Apr 2013, p.92]
  43. 80
    It is a welcome, surprising return to form.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 127 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. Mar 12, 2013
    8
    Even though I'm a die-hard David Bowie fanatic (I've even forgiven him for Tin Machine...), I must say I was a bit nervous/hesitant when I heard about this album being released. However, when I heard the lead-off single, I was quite relieved. I pre-ordered the CD and streamed it. This new release confirmed my hopes & desires for something awesome from Mr. Jones. I highly recommend buying this release. I'm debating getting a copy on vinyl when it's released in that format later this month. Full Review »
  2. Mar 16, 2013
    4
    I really, really don't know what all the fuss is about. This is a very dull album indeed in my opinion. Bowie is lionized to such a degree that he is now beyond reproach in the minds of fans and critics alike. Full Review »
  3. MES
    Mar 29, 2013
    9
    In a surprise release in January and again, in March, David Bowie has revealed his first album in 10 years. It is proclaimed by critics to be his best in 30 years. It may well be.
    Let's put this in perspective. 1983 was the year that Bowie released Let’s Dance. It was a good album containing at least five good songs (out of a total of 8 songs) including Modern Love, China Girl, Let’s Dance and Cat People. Since that time, Bowie has released 10 albums. Most of them were interesting but none of them came close to the accessibility and intrigue of his earlier work. Sorry David; the truth is sometimes painful.

    One other part of this perspective is that David Bowie is the man who, in one five year period released Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans and his Berlin Trilogy (Station to Station, Low, Heroes). Each of these albums were remarkable the totality of them was just short of amazing. They boasted great riffs, original sounds, fascinating lyrics and groundbreaking personalities.

    We now fast forward to the present day and Bowie offers us all a 66th birthday gift. The fact that he allows us all to listen to the album for free during a two week period prior to its release makes the gift that much more special. It’s an unusually prolific album boasting 14 songs. Some border on great (Where Are We Now, The Stars, Valentine’s Day, I’d Rather Be High), some are excellently crafted pop songs (Love is Lost, Dancing Out in Space, How Does the Grass Grow, You Feel So Lonely You Could Die). It’s an album that begs to be listened to repeatedly much like his best albums of the past. One of the best tracks is a bonus track “I’ll Take You There”. GREAT bonus track!

    It’s shortcomings? It is largely derivative. Rather than breaking new sonic ground, Bowie pulls from his Honky Dory/Diamond Dogs/Low/Scary Monster catalogue of sound and fury. It is also not as catchy as some of his greatest albums. Only a few of the songs resonate in my head after listening. Still, this is a truly wonderful gift that Bowie has presented to us all. It’ll keep your ears happy for many weeks/months/years.

    Thank you David!
    Full Review »