Grade • A-
CD • "I am a seer, I am a liar," David Bowie intones on one of several doleful songs on "The Next Day." No, he isn't smiling. Instead, the chameleon androgyne, who has from the beginning worshipped the goddess of reinvention, takes his new set of riffs into somber territory. Which doesn't mean there aren't plenty of loud and rousing moments.
The title track rocks forth courtesy of a fine guitar hook. "I'd Rather Be High" moves jauntily toward a memorable, Beatlesque chorus. "(You Will) Set the World on Fire" is as propulsive as it is catchy. But somewhere between mentions of a sun-licked Nabokov, a gormless crowd and Mishima's dog, a larger picture takes shape. Of the album's mood, which is pensive.