It's been 40 years since the heyday of Ziggy Stardust, but David Bowie proves he's still got a bit of music left in him.
The 66-year-old British rock star on Tuesday released his first single after nearly a decade of silence, titled, "Where Are We Now?"
The launch of the single coincides with his 66th birthday. The single was produced by long-term collaborator Tony Visconti and recorded in New York. A full studio album is scheduled for release in March. It'll be Bowie's first since 2003.
A press release from his representatives said Bowie is "the kind of artist who writes and performs what he wants when he wants … when he has something to say as opposed to something to sell."
"Today, he definitely has something to say."
Bowie, born David Robert Jones, has enjoyed a music career spanning more than five decades, though he is most well-known for his glam rock era in the 70s. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, according to USA Today.
The newest single looks back "to the British musician's days in Berlin in the late 1970s, days when the Iron Curtain was still firmly in place and Bowie lived above a car repair shop for a time," wrote NPR.
Reaction to Bowie's surprise single has been generally positive, says GlobalPost's UK correspondent Barry Neild. "But there's been more excitement about the fact that the eccentric star has deigned to re-enter the recording studio for the first time in a decade rather than over the musical content of the song," he says.
"'Where Are We Now?' is certainly no return to the energetic form of his successful glam rock or experimental albums, wallowing as it does in autumnal nostalgia for the years he lived in Berlin," Neild adds.
The Guardian's rock critic Alexis Petridis agreed.
"If it had been the lead single off Bowie's new album in 2004, it would have passed virtually without comment," Petridis writes. "The reason it's created such a fuss is partly because most people thought Bowie's retirement looked pretty final."
Boy George, another British artist who has served time in pop's hinterlands, tweeted that "Bowie's new song has made me cry! Happy tears of course!"
The video is available on Bowie's site, and the single is available to download on iTunes.
Watch an excerpt, via The Daily Telegraph:
Follow Barry Neild @barry_neild, who contributed reporting.