First Reactions

LISTEN: The first new David Bowie song in 10 years

On his 66th birthday, the legendary artist surprises fans and critics by releasing a new single — and it's really good

The song: Today is David Bowie's 66th birthday, and he decided to celebrate by offering a present to his legions of fans: The surprise release of "Where Are We Now?" — Bowie's first new song in 10 years. (The release of a new album called The Next Day will follow in March.) Reuters reports that the melancholic new single is accompanied by a video which highlights "the time Bowie spent in Berlin in the 1970s." (Watch the video below.) Is "Where Are We Now?" another classic for the legendary musician, or would he have been better off staying in retirement?

The response: With "Where Are We Now?" Bowie may have mounted "the most surprising, perfect, and welcome comeback in rock history," says Neil McCormick at The Telegraph. The new song is "a beautiful, elegiac ballad," says Alexis Petridis at The Guardian. "Bowie's voice sounds gorgeously fragile — not the fragility of someone nearing 70 who's lost their vocal power to the ravages of ages, but the fragility of someone who wants to communicate an aching wistfulness." After so much time wondering if we'll ever hear from Bowie again, this "gently affecting work of understated melancholy, framed by resonant piano-and-guitar treatments," is the perfect reminder of why we missed him so much in the first place, says Joe Bosso at Music Radar.

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