When ‘Blackstar’ dropped, it seemed that the whole world went mad for Bowie once again. He was back to experimenting with no-where left to run, making a track with multiple changes in pace and style. ‘Lazarus’ is the safe second single, not really pushing the boundaries as much, but doing a good job of formulating what Blackstar might actually sound like. And from the looks of it, Bowie’s gone for a stylish blend of soul, jazz and alternative pop. The track is fairly low-key, chugged along by clear drums and a bassline that pops right through the mix. The only jagged moments are when a distorted guitar fires out three times on between chorus lines and the saxophone that blares out intermittently.
The lyrics seem to be just as self-inspecting as ‘Blackstar’ was, with the first verse being ‘Look up here, I’m in heaven / I’ve got scars that can’t be seen / I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen / Everybody knows me now’. Bowie thinks everyone sees him as this alien on a higher plane than the rest of us humans, who like to know every detail about celebrities, even their bad moments (‘scars’, ‘drama’). If the song wasn’t without the jazzy interludes and the outro, it might be an anticlimax after ‘Blackstar’, but it mostly saves itself from being a slightly experimental second single. Plus, extra marks for any song where Bowie says ‘ass’ without it coming off as awkward.