As you may gather, Bowie is not a bricks-and-mortar biographical study. Rather, it is a philosophical tract, and as such is sure to irritate the librarians and list-makers of music fandom.

If you’re the kind of reader who tears his hair out over the digressions and dissertations of Paul Morley or Simon Reynolds, you should avoid it like the plague. But it is, to these eyes, a valuable little book, sizzling with original perceptions conveyed in clear, accessible language, unencumbered by university jargon.

“Bowie’s music is about yearning,” Critchley concludes. “Ultimately, this is a yearning for love. His yearning touches something in ours, unlocking a bittersweet memory, for example the deliciously painful longing of exile.”

In other words, even aliens get the blues.

To read the full review, visit the Irish Times

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