2. David Bowie – Blackstar
Seriously, what is left to say about Bowie’s final gift to those of us bound to this earthly realm? Even before his death two days later, I had played the thing multiple times completely impressed that a man this far into this career and his life was still pushing boundaries and experimenting with his sonic palette. Stuffed full with — in hindsight — meaningful imagery of death and rebirth, the beauty of Blackstar is its accessibility. Yes, it’s weird with all the space jazz going on, but never once does Bowie forgot the hooks. He still wants his music flowing into ears with many gorgeous melodies riding the freaky arrangements. Whether it’s the cult-infusion of “Blackstar,” the A Clockwork Orange vernacular in the lyrics of “Girl Loves Me,” or the earnestly frank “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” Bowie’s swan song ranks up there on equal footing of his 70’s output. The world needed David Bowie except we had forgotten. Blackstar reminded us.
Favorite songs: “Blackstar,” “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore,” “Girl Loves Me,” “I Can’t Give Everything Away”