Simon Critchley at The New York Times:
On the title track of “Blackstar,” the David Bowie record released just a couple of days before his death on Jan. 10, Bowie sings, “I’m not a pop star.” True, he was an attractive celebrity with hit records, great hair and a vaguely gender-bending past. But for me, and for his millions of fans, he was someone who simply made life less ordinary. Indeed, Bowie’s music made me feel alive for the first time. And if that sounds like overstatement, then perhaps you don’t get what music is about and what it can do.
For the hundreds of thousands of ordinary working-class boys and girls in England in the early 1970s, including me, Bowie incarnated something glamorous, enticing, exciting and mysterious: a world of unknown pleasures and sparkling intelligence. He offered an escape route from the suburban hellholes that we inhabited. Bowie spoke most eloquently to the disaffected, to those who didn’t feel right in their skin, the socially awkward, the alienated. He spoke to the weirdos, the freaks, the outsiders and drew us in to an extraordinary intimacy, although we knew this was total fantasy. But make no mistake, this was a love story. A love story that, in my case, has lasted about 44 years.