by Yonah Paley
While most people can agree that David Bowie was a great artist, I find it pretty hard to talk about why he was a great artist. In some ways, the fact that this is difficult to describe makes him all the greater. David Bowie is an enigma. He is a conundrum with no answer, and a puzzle that cannot be solved. His image and musical style was reinvented so many times, it’s hard to know if the man himself even knew who he was. We admire him as a one of a kind talent, but he was really ten of a kind.
His lyrics, particularly in the first half of his career, speak of alien rock stars, dystopian futures, and the strange disconnect between human beings. Singing through the lens of numerous made-up characters (such as: Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and The Thin White Duke), David Bowie manages to create his own musical universe, while maintaining enough of our universe to be somehow relatable.
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