Where Are We Now?
The Next Day is a stripped-down art-rock album, one riddled with scratchy guitars, synthesizers and ambient haze. At 66, Bowie certainly sounds well-worn, even gravelly at times, as on "Love Is Lost" (which is one of the album's best cuts). Another keeper is "How Does the Grass Grow?," a paranoia-powered bubbler that just might be a nod to The Move's psych-pop classic "I Can Hear the Grass Grow." The biggest sticking point is the rhythm section and how they're recorded (way too muddy). On just about every tune here they really should be louder and more aggressive in a dance-rock kind of way.