Reality by David Bowie

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Reality by David Bowie
Reality by David Bowie

Album Released: 2003

Reality ::: Artwork

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1.New Killer Star4:40
2.Pablo Picasso4:05
3.Never Get Old4:24
4.The Loneliest Guy4:11
5.Looking For Water3:28
6.She'll Drive The Big Car4:35
8.Fall Dog Bombs The Moon4:04
9.Try Some, Buy Some4:24
11.Bring Me The Disco King7:45


Bowie releases two good albums in a row! Shocking, I know - Reality follows the formula of Heathen to the letter, although it highlights the latent rocker in Bowie more than the quiet elegance of Heathen.

So Bowie is back to rock - throw in a couple of choice covers plus a couple of quiet elegant meditations, and that's Reality - another strong album from the man.

Bowie works with Tony Visconti again, and bar one or two pieces of filler, Reality certainly delivers. The album really doesn't have a lot of weirdness or indeed anything 'out there' to discuss - it is what it is - eleven songs from one of the elder statesmen of rock.

I've listened to the album over a hundred times, so I can safely say I like it a lot. It's just such an easy album to listen to, but a track I'd not really picked up on before is one I've only just got into. It's one of the stranger tracks in a way, the closer "Bring Me the Disco King". Running to nearly 8 minutes, it has literate and clever lyrics, a soft-brushed Jazz atmosphere, hints of Scott Walker circa Plastic Palace People, and some lovely piano touches. The track had previously escaped me, which is weird, but I guess I focused on the more obvious material such as the opening "New Killer Star", a fine upbeat rock'n'roll opener, yet a song that doesn't surprise at all and is really just Bowie-by-numbers, albeit very fine numbers.

Of the two covers, George Harrison's "Try Some Buy Some" falls somewhat flat, although Bowie certainly gives the song a finely-tuned respectful vocal. The real gem is "Pablo Picasso", serving a similar purpose to The Pixies "Cactus" on Heathen. You've got to love Bowie singing asshole and going wow, plus the wonderful guitar throughout the track.

"Days", "The Loneliest Guy", and "Never Get Old" all reflect on the past and present life of Bowie, varying from downright melancholic to smart upbeat pop music. All three are strong compositions. In contrast, "Fall Dog Bombs the Moon" and "She'll Drive the Big Car" are the lesser moments, not bad as such just slightly clumsy.

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by Reviewer: Adrian Denning (blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews)

Even though this album isn't that old, when I listen to it, it unearths layers of nostalgia in me. That's because I bought it the day it appeared on the shelves, and I couldn't stop listening to it, over and over again. Then later that week, I wrote a vastly glowing review of it for the school newspaper at my university, where I'd worked for four years.

Not long after that Bowie announced dates for his latest tour to support the album, but unfortunately the show nearest to me was in Chicago - about 14 hours away from where I lived. But it was scheduled during Winter Break, so I went! So yes, those are some memories, and I've changed quite a lot since then (or maybe I haven't?).

Anyway, don't expect anything quite as wholly entrancing or as wonderful as Heathen. With that said, I wouldn't consider Reality a step down from Heathen so much as a step sideways. Heathen was more of an album where the songs seemed to work together to create a cohesive unit, whereas Reality is more a collection of songs. And as far as songs go, this album has more than its fair share of good ones!

It opens with “New Killer Star”. If you're looking for something agreeable to bob your head to, then that's a mighty fine pick, because it has a catchy riff, a catchy melody, and bouncy instrumentation as well. Tony Visconti had returned for production duties, and his influence is evident from all those wobbly guitars in the background. In fact, the instrumentation throughout this album is usually so good that you could just sit and listen to the backgrounds.

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)