• Record Label:
  • Release Date:
Blackstar Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 729 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The 25th full-length studio release for the art-rock artist is a seven-track album featuring contributions from Mark Guiliana, Jason Lindner, Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, and Tedeschi Trucks Band's Tim Lefebvre.
Buy Now
Buy on

Top Track

Lazarus
Look up here, I'm in heaven I've got scars that can't be seen I've got drama, can't be stolen Everybody knows me now Look up here, man, I'm in... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 43
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 43
  3. Negative: 0 out of 43
  1. Magnet
    Mar 30, 2016
    100
    Kudos to producer Tony Visconti and the tight jazz team around them for making Blackstar dynamic. If Bowie indeed knew time was tight and death’s release was imminent, this treatise to magic and loss is a gorgeous way to say goodbye. [No. 129, p.52]
  2. Jan 8, 2016
    91
    For all its jazz accents and solos, Blackstar ends up becoming a stage for the things that first made Bowie a pop star: his incessantly catchy melodies and elastic voice.
  3. Jan 8, 2016
    88
    Mood frequently trumps melody, but the music is rarely flat or monochrome.
  4. Jan 7, 2016
    80
    From challenging, in your face exploration to beautifully light-as-air soulful ballads, there’s a constant idea that there’s no clue as to where the next track will swerve. There’s a feeling that Bowie is having fun too.
  5. Jan 11, 2016
    80
    The way the lyrics alternate between ambiguous introspection and dark whimsy can also confuse the sense of the album as a whole, but hunting for patterns or for humanity on Blackstar is less the point than enjoying the majesty of David Bowie, even on the verge of his death, sounding this incredibly alive.
  6. Jan 8, 2016
    80
    Bowie's joy in emphasizing the art in art-pop is palpable and its elegant, unhurried march resonates deeply.
  7. 70
    Even more than The Next Day, these seven tracks suggest the sounds inside his head are in sync with his long-time soul brother Scott Walker, though thankfully he remains on warmer terms with old-fashioned melody and emotion.

See all 43 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 91
  2. Negative: 4 out of 91
  1. Jan 8, 2016
    10
    He did it again. After a more rocking, traditional "The Next Day", Bowie is back to experimental ground in "Blackstar". This is his mostHe did it again. After a more rocking, traditional "The Next Day", Bowie is back to experimental ground in "Blackstar". This is his most ambitious album since "Outside" - I'm not saying that his most rocking albums were bad, they were just most conventional than this.

    Bowie always experimented with jazz. We all remember Aladdin Sane, Jump They Say, Seven Years In Tibet, the Berlin Trilogy. It's the first music genre he fell in love with when a child. But he never released a entire album of jazz music.

    Blackstar is the closer he gets, but it's not simply a "jazz album": it's dark, experimental, electronic and remiscent of his Berlin trilogy and of his underated masterpiece "Outside". Two songs are immediatly absolute masterpieces: the 10 min "Blackstar", spiritual sucessor at least in structure to "Station to Station"; and the dramatic, melancholic "Lazarus", wrote for his play of same name.

    The whole album is groundbreaking. Even the two songs that we already knew from 2014, "Sue" and "Tis a Pity" are reworked and in much superior versions here. It's a short album, but much like Station to Station and Earthling, it's immediate and without a single bad song. Without even a regular song; every song is damn good, ambitious and different in every way.

    The three final tracks are some of his finest ballads, the atmospheric "Girl Loves Me", the beautiful "Dollar Days" and the message to the fans in the final track: "I can't give everything away". And Bowie is once again right: we don't need everything away. We can cople with the mystery, wait, worry, and then he gifts us with such a treasure like Blackstar

    This album will grow, and grow, and grow on us. Happy birthday, master!
    Expand
  2. Tmz
    Jan 4, 2020
    10
    Uma obra prima .
    Não é o melhor álbum de Bowie, mas possivelmente é o mais emocionante, cada música deste álbum emana uma aura fúnebre que
    Uma obra prima .
    Não é o melhor álbum de Bowie, mas possivelmente é o mais emocionante, cada música deste álbum emana uma aura fúnebre que serve como despedida deste grande artista.
    E quando o álbum encerra com " i can't give everything away" as lágrimas descem e você sabe que Bowie não poderia se despedir de forma melhor.
    Expand
  3. Jan 11, 2016
    10
    A magical record that feels better and better every time you listen to it. Of course a lot of us are moarning now because of Bowie's deathA magical record that feels better and better every time you listen to it. Of course a lot of us are moarning now because of Bowie's death but, and this isn't cheap talk at all, he'll live forever through his incredible work and Blackstar is no exception. Dollar Days and I can't give everything away were two wonderful songs a couple of days ago, now they are the brilliant end of a genius career. Expand
  4. Jan 16, 2016
    9
    It seems like the intention while making this absolute masterpiece, David already had saw his death coming. The lyrics, musical arrangementsIt seems like the intention while making this absolute masterpiece, David already had saw his death coming. The lyrics, musical arrangements and meanings — even the sax solos —, it all converge to the idea of death and its deployments. Bowie always did great use of the experimental ground (like in the amazing 'Outside') ground, and his latest (please God, don't let it be the last) album keeps on looking forward. It was kind of his thing tho. A man ahead of his time.
    My favorite track by far is 'Blackstar'. Couldn't stop listening to it ever since the video clip (another incredible experience) was released.
    Expand
  5. Jan 9, 2016
    9
    David Bowie delivers one of his most darkest and experimental projects in a long time, filled to the brim with hauntingly melodic poppy andDavid Bowie delivers one of his most darkest and experimental projects in a long time, filled to the brim with hauntingly melodic poppy and jazzy sounds.

    The album features 7 tracks with a total run-time of 41 minutes. It starts out strong with the 10 minute magnum opus "Blackstar". A song that is divided into three parts. A sinister/occult jazzy part, then traditional Bowie and then it goes back into the dark.

    The following three tracks "Tis A Pity She Was A Whore", "Lazarus" and "Sue" are an absolute treat. Especially "Sue". A track with hard hitting guitar riffs over precise jazz drums. The song increases in intensity the further it progresses.

    "She Loves Me", Track 5, is where the album loses a bit of steam. There are some interesting vocal harmonies going on in the chorus and the instrumentation is still solid. But Bowie does disappoint a bit with his vocals and songwriting.

    Which is in stark contrast to Track 6, "Dollar Days". If there is one song that will hit you in the guts, it is this one. The overarching tone of the song, plus the lyrics and Bowie's delivery, makes this an easy highlight of the album. So much that it slightly overshadows the closing track "I Won't Give Everything Away". Which by all means is still a solid closer.

    Blackstar is a fantastic project from the British icon to start the year of 2016 off with. While Bowie might have not gone as far into the Darkside like fellow avant-garde pop artist Scott Walker, he simply didn't have to. Blackstar is a treat with lush production, good songwriting and a fantastic performer.

    Fav Tracks: Blackstar, Sue, Dollar Days, Lazarus, I Won't Give Everything Away
    Least Fav Tracks: She Loves Me
    Expand
  6. Nov 16, 2017
    9
    David Bowie's "Blackstar" is really an unbelievable record. While most who are about to pass away are going to spend time with loved ones andDavid Bowie's "Blackstar" is really an unbelievable record. While most who are about to pass away are going to spend time with loved ones and family, Bowie decided to make a record reflecting on his life. With Blackstar, Bowie created a loose concept album about death that is unlike any other. This is a masterpiece, and one of the greatest final rock albums that an artist has ever produced.

    This album would have been great with just lyrics reflecting on death, but the instrumentation is what elevates it to a whole new level. Bowie was listening to Kendrick Lamar and Death Grips while recording this album, and the influences can be clearly seen. The beats are dark, loud, and totally experimental. There are jazzy elements reminiscent of Kendrick's "To Pimp a Butterfly" and there are vocal yelps that MC Ride would be proud of on songs like "Girl Loves Me".

    The title track may go down as one of Bowie's most epic songs yet. A haunting 10 minute epic, "Blackstar" has three separate sections going from dark, to heavenly, only to quickly return to the dark. "Lazarus" has haunting lyrics like "look up here I'm in heaven", and becomes grand during the ending. "Girl Loves Me" is another standout with its cracked vocals, and hard-hitting instrumentation. There isn't a bad song on this entire album, and considering the context, it truly is a modern classic.
    Expand
  7. Apr 26, 2016
    0
    I know this wont be popular (so I wont be reading any comments) but I listened to this before he died and thought it was awful. And I haventI know this wont be popular (so I wont be reading any comments) but I listened to this before he died and thought it was awful. And I havent changed my mind now that he is dead. Sounds like a self-indulgent noise to me and probably he was trying to find a way of coming to terms with dying and fine if that's what he wanted to do and people are buying it and like it. But we are all entitled to our opinions. Expand

See all 91 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Metacritic Users Pick the Best of 2016

    Metacritic Users Pick the Best of 2016 Image
    Published: January 5, 2017
    The results of our 7th annual user poll are in! Find out which albums, movies, TV shows, and games were the favorites of the Metacritic community in 2016.
  2. The Best Albums of 2016

    The Best Albums of 2016 Image
    Published: December 23, 2016
    We rank the 40 highest-scoring album releases of 2016. You can also find lists of the best reissues and 2016's lowest-scoring albums as well as our users' favorite albums of the year.
  3. Best of 2016: Music Critic Top Ten Lists

    Best of 2016: Music Critic Top Ten Lists Image
    Published: November 28, 2016
    Over the next month, we'll be collecting year-end top 10 album lists from over 200 music critics, publications, record stores, and other sources. Find individual lists and this year's cumulative rankings inside.
  4. Best of January 2016: Top Albums, Games, Movies & TV

    Best of January 2016: Top Albums, Games, Movies & TV Image
    Published: January 30, 2016
    Browse our handy guide to the best entertainment of the past month, with lists of the highest-scoring video games, TV shows, albums, and films released during January.