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"No Plan" is Bowie's final good-bye to those of us left here on Earth

ISO / Columbia
"No Plan" is a posthumous EP from the late David Bowie, who died in January 2016.
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EP REVIEW: David Bowie – No Plan (ISO/Columbia) 2017

Music. Art. Often the two are separated, placed in nice, easy-to-understand categories. But when it comes to David Bowie, nothing is ever easily categorized.

And so it is with what is likely his final, posthumous recording, an EP titled No Plan, which was just released on vinyl (it was released in other formats on Jan. 8th), and sounds simply amazing. This is music as art - and so much more. I'm still trying to figure it out.

The first track, “Lazarus,” is still haunting, having been featured on the long-player, Blackstar, which was released in January 2016, just two days before Bowie’s unexpected death – a death that impacted many of his fans in a way that (myself included) was anticipated.

And the title track is absolute standout, with Donny McCaslin's sax and those synthesizer sounds from Jason Lindner, during the very moving outro, still stun me each time I hear them.

All the things that are my life / My moods, my beliefs, my desires, me alone / Nothing to regret.

And while "When I Met You" is a great song in itself, I would have put "No Plan" as the final song, if song order matters to anyone reading this.

I had not thought of this before, but Bowie’s work on Blackstar and No Plan remind me somewhat of the haunting and ethereal music director David Lynch has released in recent years, including The Big Dream.

I reviewed that album on the day before Halloween in 2013, appropriately enough, and noted how the auteur who constantly surprises, offered a moody album featuring a “rockabilly balladeer style, spooky wind sound effects and a bittersweet delivery,” all while trying to understand the greater world around him. Lynch and Bowie were acquainted, with Lynch using Bowie’s Agent Phillip Jeffries character to great effect in 1992's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

I think this is the same territory Bowie is traversing on No Plan, as he did on Blackstar, knowing time was short, while still including a caustic rocker called “Killing a Little Time,” featuring lines that reminded me of some of his Tin Machine work: “I love the sound of an empty room / The scream of night, the end of love / Two beating hearts, one labored scarred / One open wound, wasted and drowned …” It’s personal and political. And I should note that Bowie's band absolutely smokes on this track.

No Plan sounds great on vinyl. Bold and loud and with just the right mood to where you feel you entering a sacred space

We miss you, Starman, wherever you are ... 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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