A silent voice across the MEdiaverse: The Next Day as identities prosumed


Back in March 2013 I posted an article in which I tried to analyse Bowie’s comeback album The Next Day. Quite a few things about ‘Bowie now’ intrigued me so I worked on some of my ideas around social media and identity and eventually published an academic remix of the original article (read original here) in Celebrity Studies journal.

Not long after publication The Next Day album designer Jonathan Barnbrook sent me this message which I took to be quite positive:

“…well very interesting. quite academic language but just about understandable. reasons are much more various and multifaceted, partly accidental but certainly contain elements that you are discussing.”

I love the ‘just about understandable’ bit… I suppose it was written for an academic journal so the language is a bit ‘academic’. It’s easy to forget sometimes just how rarified a language academic-speak can be. And like any language it takes some time to understand, so I was over the moon that Jonathan took the time and effort to read the article.

More recently I was told by someone close to Bowie’s camp that he also enjoyed the article… I can’t publish the email but I can say the fanboy in me did summersaults. So, here it is for anyone who wants to take a look… but I would urge you to read the original so you can see how everyday language can become tied in academic knots, while not really adding anything that new!!!

Click here to download a PDF of the article The Next Day as identities prosumed



About stateofbass

Dr Martin James is Professor of Music Media Industries and course leader of BA(hons) Popular Music Journalism at Southampton Solent University. Martin is an internationally renowned music journalist who worked on the editorial teams of some of the biggest magazines on the International market. Over the last twenty years he has regularly contributed to almost every major music and lifestyle magazine, and numerous daily broadsheet newspapers. Martin has also written several Internationally published and critically acclaimed books about music. Since 2008 Martin has coordinated Southampton Solent University's associations with some of the UKs finest independent festivals including Glade, Bestival, Camp Bestival and Blissfields. In 2009 Martin organized the University's first music industries conference 'Solent Music Industries Live Event' (SMILE), featuring some of the biggest names in the world of music sharing their knowledge with students. SMILE is now an annual one-week event in Solent's calendar. Martin has also played in numerous bands to varying degrees of success!
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