We examine Bowie's albums against his new one

March 08, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST

Space Oddity (1969)
His self-titled debut was a pedestrian folk exercise, but the follow-up began Bowie’s adventures among the stars. Day taps into that strummy, trippy space on the sweetly surreal ”Dancing Out in Space.”

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)
Bowie’s signature alter ego claims Martian citizenship with bombastic, arena-friendly hooks. ”How Does the Grass Grow?” continues its legacy.

Diamond Dogs (1974)
This was the sound of Stardust taking his hedonistic party to the end of the world. Day kicks off with a Diamond-style title track that comes on like a glam-saturated call to arms.

Station to Station (1976)
The Thin White Duke character changed his look and his focus, turning toward funk and soul. Day revisits that long-ago persona’s gospel-tinged skronk on ”Boss of Me.”

Low (1977)
In the late ’70s, Bowie decamped to Berlin to craft a trio of albums with the help of Brian Eno’s atmospherics. Those moody throbs are re-created on ”Where Are We Now?” and especially on the album-closing ”Heat.”

Scary Monsters (1980)
Perhaps Bowie’s most successful synthesis of sounds, combining the style of glam with the emerging possibilities of synths; he does it again with the punchy ”Valentine’s Day.”

Outside (1995)
Undoubtedly inspired by tourmate and spiritual descendant Trent Reznor, Outside deals mainly in spook-rock crunch — the same kind heard on the thunderous, droning paranoia parade ”Love Is Lost.”

Earthling (1997)
Earthling boldly cribbed then-fashionable rocktronica tricks from jungle, drum-and-bass, and techno. ”If You Can See Me” carries that jittery glow-sticked flag.

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