If you haven't checked out his latest album Blackstar, it's absolutely fantastic. Especially considering his passing last night. Through the weekend, a lot of people speculated that on this album, Bowie was portraying a new character, as he is prone to do. What a surprise but, then again, not, when he subverted our expectations and it was revealed that he had been secretly battling cancer for EIGHTEEN MONTHS. This isn't a new character. This is Bowie letting us all know "Hey, I'm heading out. Here's something to remember me by. A reminder that while I am gone, my legacy will live on." Take his last music video, Lazarus. [youtube]y-JqH1M4Ya8[/youtube] On top of being a kick-ass song, let's take a look at the lyrics. It's clear this is a message to us from David Bowie. Not a character, but the man himself. Even more clear is the video. A man in a hospital bed, being lifted up to write one last letter before his death. Blackstar is that letter. David Bowie went out on his own terms. With a fantastic album as a parting statement. Not many artists can lay claim to doing this, and in that small circle, none can say they did it with such bombastic glamour as David Bowie. So, if you haven't already, do yourself a favor and pick up some Bowie albums. My personal recommendations if you're new to the man include the 1977 album Low, the 1971 album Hunky Dory, and the 1977 album Heroes. But honestly, there really isn't a bad album in the lot; a marvelous thing to say with no less than 25 studio albums released in the past 49 years. Each one is a completely different creature and are both easily accessible and wildly experimental, in most cases simultaneously. You wouldn't even be amiss to start with the compilation Changesonebowie, probably one of the best "greatest hits" records ever conceived, thanks in no part to how solid his work has always been. And THAT particular compilation only handles the first 10 albums of his career (incidentally only covering his work up to 1976). Aside from that, let's honor this perennial icon and discuss his work and the impact he has left on music, the world, and each other.