Modern Love


Some songs you can tune out or ignore, some songs you can take or leave, some songs you enjoy while also thinking about what other songs you’d like to hear next. Some songs make you forget that other music exists. There are no other genres, no other artists, no other songs. For three or four minutes nothing else exists except one song, and your own emotions. This is one of those songs that temporarily erase the world around you. It has all the chemical effects of a dose of MDMA straight to the brain. It’s so perfect it makes you never want to hear another song again. If that sounds a lot like what we call love, it’s that too. It’s that mind altering good feeling that drugs and infatuation can bring. Except that unlike drugs and human companions, David Bowie has never let me down. And David Bowie has a disproportionate number of songs that do that. For all his numerous other qualities, he’s succeeded for decades on the strength of his ability to write tunes that eclipse the sun. If he’d had more interest in pursuing the purely pop sensibility he would, as he briefly showed in the Let’s Dance years, be a world dominating force of colossal proportions. As it is, he’s managed to become one of the defining cultural figures of our time despite his flyover-demographic-alienating weirdness. Imagine the pop star popularity of a David Bowie who only skates by on looks and catchy tunes. He would probably by now be the proud ruler of his own small country.

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