It’s been almost a year since Bowie passed and exactly One since Blackstar was released - an art project and record so closely enveloped with the artist’s death to the extent I don’t think we’ve seen before.
Even in 2017, his art and music still find such power to move and effect. These tracks from the ‘No Plan’ EP release aren’t really new (they’re on the back end of the Lazarus musical soundtrack), but this time at least they’re repackaged in proper, with the only new piece of material being the music video of the same name.
Photo: Screengrab from No Plan music video
Taking a look at the video - it not only does reminds me of Black Mirror’s ‘San Junipero’ in terms of style and commentary, but it also serves as kind of an afterthought in which we have some ‘reactions of the public’ (a theme explored on the track ‘Lazarus’).
The symbolism is depicted with an increasing crowd gathering outside an electronics store, their stunned faces glaring at lyrics on 80s television screens - with allusions to a projectile or an asteroid of some sort that I can only assume must be a nod to ‘Space Oddity.’
The lyrics are pretty heart wrenching, with Bowie posthumously singing “There’s no music here” and that “He is lost in streams of sound,” painting his crafted vision of an afterlife (probably another reason why I referenced it to the Black Mirror episode).
He follows this up with questioning “Here, am I nowhere now?” before tying it all up together with the phrase “No Plan.” The track concludes with him quipping “this is not quite yet,” a type of cryptic message that parallels the sort of obtuse ending to the video with the disappearing crowd in the closing shot.
There are still tracks like ‘Blaze,’ ‘Somewhere’ and presumably a ton of unreleased recordings from the Blackstar sessions, but we’ll have to wait and see if they ever make it to the light of day.
ICYMI, there’s also another recently released BBC documentary entitled ‘David Bowie: The Past Five Years’ that focuses on his last three albums as well as promises to be - “an intimate portrait of his life.” Aside to some archival footage, the trailer (an unofficial version) for the documentary features some chilling isolated vocals from Bowie in context of what happened after if you’d like to take a look.
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