Yeah that was my point but I'd actually describe most of his best and most popular albums, "Ziggy" and "Heroes" included. It's not that I think half the songs on those albums are *bad*, just mediocre and forgettable compared to the highlights. He was generally never consistent enough to maintain the same quality throughout an entire album but "Blackstar" is a rare exception which is part of the reason it's my favorite.
Been awhile since I've heard "The Next Day" but I remember it seeming surprisingly strong at the time, indicating that "Blackstar" didn't exactly come from out of nowhere.
I mean, it's hard to get bluesier than "Love In Vain"- it's a Robert Johnson cover! But it seems like the more rockin' blues stuff is what generally turns you off? Still an opinion that's gotta make being a Stones fan a pretty frustrating experience but whatever. I love The Stones and only appreciate them more with age but as a sucker for psych pop, I guess I can understand wishing they would have done more stuff in that vein.