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David Bowie - No Plan CD (album) cover

NO PLAN

David Bowie

 

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3.77 | 19 ratings

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thesimilitudeofprog
3 stars The No Plan EP is, undoubtedly, a curious addition to Bowie's tremendous catalog. Appearing almost exactly a year after Bowie passed away. It is understandable that many will consider it a parting gift from the Bowie. Depending on what you think about that, the value of No Plan changes accordingly. No Plan is a powerful EP with moving songs and is a worthy addition to Bowie's catalog. No Plan is a separate entity to Blackstar in that it offers more to his family than fans. Blackstar's track order has always reflected the seven stages of grief to me.

The EP opens with "Lazarus"which has overtures of his forthcoming death ? perhaps but only because we now know Bowie was close to his own demise when he recorded it.The opening lyrics "Look up here, I'm in heaven" will pull at the heart strings of his fans, or anyone for that matter. This track is both touching and moving. It is clear that, when planning this EP out, Bowie knew he would have passed at the time of it's release. The title track 'No Plan' is a hauntingly beautiful message from the other side. The strong, melancholic sax solo is very moving and - the lyrics 'There's no music here, I'm lost in streams of sound" and "Oh, of the things that are my life, my moods, my beliefs, desires, me alone, nothing to regret; here is my place without a plan" speak of a spiritual side to Bowie. The last two tracks, 'Killing A Little Time' and 'When I Met You', are much more upbeat and rock-oriented. The soundscapes of both tracks feel more like cuts from The Next Day to me than they do from Blackstar. "Killing a Little Time" is a great rock tune. The lyrics paint a picture of many emotions and the vocals are a great contrast to the slower tracks on No Plan. The abrasive quality of the music is appealing and engaging on a deep level, and the off-center sax solo under the vocal lines along with the independent melodic lines rhythms provided by the percussion is clever and superbly placed to make this something of an epic number. "When I Met You" begins with a steady, heart beat-like rhythm and develops into a poppy number reminiscent of many of David Bowie's great hits. It opens with the lyrics "You knew just everything but nothing at all; now the moon is dark, feels like pain again" lines that point to unspoken love. A great track and very Bowie! "When I Met You" really shows the purpose of this EP. It is a moving love song that, without ever using the word love once, conveys the message of life-changing affection clearly. While much of Blackstar's material could be perceived as a gift to the fans, 'When I Met You' is Bowie's present to his wife, Iman. There was little on Blackstar that could be related to Iman, so the No Plan EP serves as a beautiful consolidation of their years together.

No Plan is a powerful EP with moving songs and is a worthy addition to Bowie's catalog. No Plan should be treated as a separate entity to Blackstar. It offers more to his family than fans, but it is still an important ? and enjoyable ? listen for everyone. No Plan can be appreciated as a standalone EP and is a brilliant supplement to 2016's Blackstar.

thesimilitudeofprog | 3/5 |

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