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We don’t have the ability right now to gather all of our thoughts about what David Bowie’s art means to us. And while we often respond to the loss of a great artist with a recommendation of a great work from their past that was overlooked during the artist’s lifetime or ignored in the various tributes that followed, the only piece of Bowie’s art that makes sense to turn to right now is the one he created to prepare us (and, surely, himself) for his own death: Blackstar.
Released only two days before he died, Blackstar was conceived by Bowie as his final statement in a plan known only to his closest friends and collaborators. In our shock and grief, we’re getting the chance to hear from the man we’re mourning, his message delivered in every way with the complexity and beauty and unrelenting artistry that made him so pivotal in so many of our lives.
Trunkworthy was founded on three core principles: We would never write about a “new release” that we haven’t had time to fully absorb, we’d only talk about things that the media hadn’t already thoroughly covered and praised, and we’d only talk about the things we absolutely loved, never cutting down (or even mentioning) the things that didn’t truly alter our lives. But the sad fact is Blackstar just came in to our lives on Friday, and while we we’ve been astounded by the album’s first single for weeks already, we just haven’t had the time to take in, unravel or even comprehend the entire album (and even that single song and its video now have haunting new meanings). So here we are, violating the very point of our site because our rules don’t apply in this moment. There may not be another artist who has been as consistently complex, daring, challenging, and rewarding through an entire lifetime, and the world will be less without him. And if Blackstar is his what he wanted to say to us as he faced the end, we’re not going to stand in the way of that.