So, yes: that new Bowie single.
Absolutely astonishing piece of work to get it released with hardly anybody knowing it was going to happen; and extraordinary for almost the entire world* to listen to a song for the first time, more-or-less simultaneously, and more-or-less without coming to it with a set of recommendations or disrecommendations ringing in their ears.
* - I'm using "the entire world" in the sense of "people who care about Western musicians of a certain age who were up at that time in the morning", of course.
It's possible to both admire the way the song has been put together - craftsmanlike, as you'd expect - and not really warm to it. But you don't care what I think, so let's take a quick look at some of the instant reaction.
The Guardian is surprised:
The glam-rock singer shot to fame in the late 60s with Space Oddity but has been largely silent in recent years, not performing live since 2006 and rarely appearing in public since then.So surprised, they describe Bowie as "the glam-rock singer".
There's a difference of opinion between Ben Perreau and Jon Mundy:
@perreau well i’ll give it a better chance once i’ve dispatched the children. Seemed a bit dirgey (is that a word?)— Jon Mundy (@jonmundy) January 8, 2013
@jonmundy Depends in what you like, Bowie doesn't really do the bright poppy stuff so much so I prefer his rootsier sounds.— Ben Perreau (@perreau) January 8, 2013
Ah, you say "dirgey", I say "rootsy".
Still, a new single and a birthday. Joy to the world, eh?
I just listened to #Bowie. Feel a bit depressed now :(— karenstrunks (@karenstrunks) January 8, 2013
But people who like it, like it very much indeed:
"I'm David Bowie. Here's a wistful ballad. Eat me, young people." #hero— Adam Wilson (@theleanover) January 8, 2013
Ah lovely Bowie. AllRobery Wyatty and I did show ya the coolest mugshot ever...spooky huh?— suzanne moore (@suzanne_moore) January 8, 2013
Only David Bowie could make a song about using public transport in Germany sound so wracked and lovely.— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) January 8, 2013
Perhaps the oddest report this morning comes from The Next Web:
Returning after 10 years away, David Bowie embraces digital with iTunes-exclusive singleJosh Ong, David Bowie won a lifetime achievement award from the Webbys in 2007, nearly a decade after he launched BowieNet. I think it's fairly safe to say he'd already embraced digital.