It’s been eight years since David Bowie put out an album of original material; if the man is retired from a long career of stylistic innovation and general awesomeness, we can’t say he hasn’t earned it. As for fans hungry for new material, they finally got some respite this week when an unreleased 2001 Bowie album called Toy surfaced online. Toy is made of “a number of his lesser-known songs” that Bowie re-recorded, reports AntiQuiet, and was put in limbo due to difficulties with his record label, Virgin. Some of the songs, including “Afraid” and “You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving,” ended up on 2002’s Heathen and on B-sides to that album’s singles. But many of the songs haven’t been available until now.

We listened to about half of Toy this morning, and we’re pretty sure that critics would declare it a “return to form” and “his best album since Low” if it were released legitimately as a “new” Bowie record. Toy is especially recommended for fans of the glam-era, early ’70s Bowie (or decent approximations thereof). The record should be easy to find for anyone with access to Google. Enjoy!