Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Zowie! Bowie! Heathen Is David Bowie's Sharpest Album-And Most Interesting to Gay Audiences-In Years

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Zowie! Bowie! Heathen Is David Bowie's Sharpest Album-And Most Interesting to Gay Audiences-In Years

Article excerpt

Heathen * David Bowie * IS0/Columbia

David Bowie has always been an object of affection for lofty queer lads who fancy themselves sophisticated and "open-minded." Unlike Iggy Pop, whose brutish brand of rock and onstage cock-floppin' rendered him sleazily attainable in the minds of his male disciples, Bowie's '70s-era Ziggy Stardust gender-bending and the innate emotional vulnerability and displacement of his lyrics in an unforgivingly macho world made him iconic. And while his subsequent, stylishly fey punk-daddy posings made him less overtly gay-friendly, he nonetheless remained consistently compelling. Even when he squired supermodel Iman down the matrimonial aisle and into the baby delivery room, he seemed, in some small way, to belong to us--even though he has never directly courted the attention or ardor of his gay loyalists.

On Heathen the legendary artist walks a tightrope between asserting his continued rock relevance and revisiting the more introspective ground of his salad days. Reconnecting with producer-collaborator Tony Visconti for the first time in more than 20 years has undeniably revived Bowie's inner poet. They clearly have a natural rapport that seems to unlock a secret mental door for Bowie--it's been 10 years since he's woven prose as thoughtful as the words that fill Heathen.

And this time he's not even pretending to be light or charmingly philosophical. Rather, Bowie bathes in themes of isolation, depression, anxiety, and abandonment. …

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