David Bowie releases his 25th album today, on his 69th birthday. There's 7 songs on this album. 25 + 69 + 7 = 101. In George Orwell's book "1984" Room 101 is a torture chamber where prisoners are faced with their own worst fears. David Bowie himself released the album "Diamond Dogs" with the song "1984" in 1974. 1984 - 1974 = 10. The book "1984" refers to Big Brother as the leader of the government. Bowie's own big (half-)brother, Terry Burns, was 10 years older than David. Burns introduced Bowie to modern jazz and inspired him to take up the saxophone. There's quite a lot of sax on "Blackstar". Are all these facts mere coincidences? CAN THEY BE? Yes, they can. And they make as much sense as all those who have written about this album as some kind of near-unlistenable far-out, experimental neo-jazz extravaganza that doesn't sound like anything Bowie has ever done before. This is a great David Bowie album with great songs, and it's possible to hear similarities between "Blackstar" and "Heathen", "Outside", "Black Tie White Noise", "Low"/"Lodger" and the aforementioned "Diamond Dogs". Plus others, minus all of the above. It's unmistakably Bowie, and he doesn't copy himself, nor does he alienate his fans. He invented this shit, and he still owns it. Bitches.