Much as Low and Lodger reflected David Bowie's surroundings in Berlin, Reality follows 2002's Heathen in documenting the singer's settling into adulthood -- if not altogether into middle age -- as a New Yorker and a family man. Relatively spare in construct and dominated by straight-ahead guitar songs, the disc has its moments of melancholy ("Fall Dog Bombs the Moon") and warm contentment (the spangly "Days of My Life"), all of which seem connected by Bowie's desire to present himself, in contrast to his persona-hopping of past decades, as just a regular guy. For the most part, he's successful in doing just that: The ballad "The Loneliest Guy in the World" (not nearly as morose a tune as the title suggests) is as open as anything he's ever done, while the wispy "New Killer Star" (a musing on September 11th) reveals a surprisingly empathetic streak. Dating back to his earliest days, documented on Pin-Ups, Bowie's had a knack for cleverly choosing cover songs and smartly refashioning them in his own image. Here, the singer revamps a pair of distinctly different ditties, cloaking Jonathan Richman's snotty, postadolescent plaint "Pablo Picasso" in cocked-eyebrow detachment and then peeling back that attitude for a spare version of George Harrison's "Try Some Buy Some." Think of Reality as a portrait -- or, more accurately, a short film -- of an artist still finding himself after all these years.
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Performance CreditsDavid Bowie Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Baritone Saxophone,Background Vocals,Stylophone
Earl Slick Guitar
Mike Garson Piano
David Torn Guitar
Gail Ann Dorsey Background Vocals
Sterling Campbell Drums
Matt Chamberlain Drums
Catherine Russell Background Vocals
Tony Visconti Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Gerry Leonard Guitar
Mark Plati Bass,Guitar
Mario J. McNulty Percussion,Drums
Technical CreditsDavid Bowie Composer,Producer
George Harrison Composer
Jonathan Richman Composer
Tony Visconti Producer,Engineer
Rex Ray Illustrations
Bill Jenkins Engineer
Brandon Mason Engineer
Mario J. McNulty Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reality based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
For fans of Bowie Reality is a must have. This album has an edge that none of his recent studio albums have had. The songs are memorable yet surprise you at how they are arranged. Sounding more experimental than his last Heathen, Reality reminds me of the 70's catalog of Bowie material. The guitars are fuller his voice is more powerful and the drums are solid. Don't hesitate just buy this album and put it on repeat.
The Thin White Duke has constructed a masterpiece with "Reality." Not since "Outside" has a Bowie album been this good. Bowie always surrounds himself with fabulous musicians and that's certainly the case here. Just one example is long-time Bowie collaborator Mike Garson whose brilliant piano work sets the mood for the hauntingly beautiful "The Loneliest Guy" and the rainy day jazz atmosphere of "Bring Me the Disco King." Most of the songs are uptempo with outstanding contributions from the musicians as well as killer lyrics from the master songwriter himself, plus you can actually read the lyrics in the liner notes this time, unlike previous Bowie releases! A must-buy for not just Bowie fans, but anybody who's tired of the Copy and Paste studio-manufactured music that permeates Rock music today. This is REAL talent. Believe me, the CD is worth it just for Bowie's cover of Jonathan Richman's "Pablo Picasso"