Artists often get stuck in a formula; something works well for them, so they run the same ideas over and over again, ultimately into the ground. Not David Bowie. He was great at recognizing that music is in continual flux. He understood that if one did not keep challenging themselves, they were doomed to repeat the same artistic mistakes throughout their career. To him, music was an opportunity to challenge himself, as well as his audience.
Therefore, the key to enjoying later period David Bowie (particularly from the 1990s and on) is to forget everything you thought you knew about his music. Having figured out the need for creative evolution, he decided to move away from rock and roll, toward more experimental and jazzy styles. Bowie’s later albums bear very little resemblance to the material he became famous for in the 60s and 70s. That’s not to say that they’re worse; in fact, if one listens with an open mind, there is some real substance to be found.
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