But there is no greater example of the pathos that makes Bowie’s saxophone breathe than on "Subterraneans" from 1977’s , one of his most dour (and influential) outré moments.

That song uncovered a mood of future nostalgia so lasting that it’s difficult to imagine the existence of an act like Boards of Canada without it.

"Dollar Days" is the confession of a restless soul who could not spend his golden years in a blissful British countryside even if he wanted to.

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He takes Madeline under his wing and cares for her, wanting to protect her innocence.

But when Jared and Madeline find themselves slipping into major trouble, she doesn't know if she can accept Jared's trouble-making ways.

Bowie’s longtime studio wingman Tony Visconti is back as co-producer, bringing along with him some continuity and a sense of history.

Because as much as shakes up our idea of what a David Bowie record can sound like, its blend of jazz, codes, brutality, drama, and alienation is not without precedent in his work.

"Just like that bluebird." Bowie sings the same song on , an album that has him clutching onto remnants from the past as exploratory jazz and the echos of various mad men soundtrack his freefall.

Following years of troubling silence, Bowie returned to the pop world with 2013’s , he embraces his status as a no-fucks icon, a 68-year-old with "nothing left to lose," as he sings on "Lazarus." The album features a quartet of brand-new collaborators, led by the celebrated modern jazz saxophonist Donny Mc Caslin, whose repertoire includes hard bop as well as skittering Aphex Twin covers.David Bowie has died many deaths yet he is still with us.He is popular music’s ultimate Lazarus: Just as that Biblical figure was beckoned by Jesus to emerge from his tomb after four days of nothingness, Bowie has put many of his selves to rest over the last half-century, only to rise again with a different guise.Burns suffered from schizophrenia throughout his life; he once tried to kill himself by jumping out of a mental hospital window and eventually committed suicide by putting himself in front of a train in 1985.Perhaps this helps explain why Bowie has often used jazz and his saxophone not for finger-snapping pep but rather to hint at mystery and unease.Rather than trying to outrun those years, as he did in the '80s and '90s, he is now mining them in a resolutely bizarre way that scoffs at greatest-hits tours, nostalgia, and brainless regurgitation.