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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 25 September 2003
When you listen to 'Reality' in a concentrated way, you start to hear some of its truly inspired touches. It's full of good, enjoyable tracks, but within those tracks can be found a playful experimenting that makes you go back and play them again - just to make sure you haven't missed anything the first time. And it's this quality that makes 'Reality' such a marvellous album - it's got longevity, and won't travel to the bottom of people's CD racks for quite some time.
A complete contrast to 'Heathen', occupying a different imaginative space entirely, this is a textured and tantilizing, immensely varied album. Pretty much what you expect from David Bowie.
And it makes you want to dance.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 19 September 2003
Every album Bowie has ever made has had high points. Even critically slated albums such as Tonight had its good moments (Blue Jean, for example), as did Tin Machine - their version of Maggie's Farm was, to my mind, one of his best ever tracks. Recent albums (and by recent, I mean the last 10 years' worth) have been, although better than most other bands around, still patchy in places. From Black Tie White Noise through to Heathen, they have all been generally good, but with a few poor songs to balance out the brilliant.
This is not the case with Reality, however. From the moment that 'New Killer Star' beings with it's classic Bowie sound reminiscent in places of Rebel Rebel and Jean Genie, through the spanish guitar laden insanity that is Pablo Picasso and onwards, there is not a bad moment to be heard. Throughout the 90s, sometimes it seemed that Bowie was trying just too hard to be trendy, hip and different. But the good work on Heathen has been continued, and to my mind this IS his best album in certainly 20 years, perhaps longer. It's certainly the one that has impressed me most after just two or three listens - probably more so than anything since Heroes.
This album deserves to be heard, and it deserves to be loved. If there's any justice, it will outsell all the TV manufactured rubbish in the charts, and give Bowie the incentive to carry on making music this good for another 35 years.
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on 30 November 2003
Bowies back, and undeniably on top form. Making musical chemistry yet again with producer Tony Visconti. Bowie really can't go wrong, with a strong tried and tested band including Mike Garson (Ziggy Stardust 1973), Earl Slick (Diamond Dogs Tour 1974) and the all inspiring Gail Ann Dorsey ( 1. Outside 1995).
Bowie wows us from start to finish with the likes of the fabulous "New Killer Star" and "Days". The brilliant self observation of "Never Get Old" will take you breath away as you begin to realise that Bowie, fast approaching 57, is spiritually younger than he has ever been.
All in all "Reality" needs not prove anything. David's voice unchanged by time, delivers a full to the brim 50 mins of superb music. It is up there with finest of the Thin White Duke's Albums, possibly the greatest since "Low".
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on 11 March 2017
Oh, this is a beauty!!

A stunning Bowie album - creative, imaginative and poignant in places. Just brilliant. Following on from Heathen, this certainly doesn't disappoint.

Every track is better than the last - there's nothing not to like about this at all.
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on 19 September 2003
Following hot on the heels of Heathen, Reality demonstrates that Bowie is on a musical role. Reality is nothing like Heathen; it is less pop music and more a mixture of hard rock and brooding mood music. There is no doubt that Bowie remains an enormous influence on modern music with this album. He sounds energetic, enthusiastic and innovative.
New Killer Star starts off the album with a stream of power chords, Pablo Picasso is bizarre and clever and tracks like Looking for Water demonstrate that he is 56 going on 26.
I am amazed how great this album is. If some of today's young hopefuls could write and produce something a tenth as good as this then music would be going through a boom time. Sadly it isn't and unfortuantely they can't. Bowie remains one of music's finest innovators. Totally recommended. Buy this and smile.
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on 20 October 2003
Each and every new Bowie album since 1995's 1: Outside has been touted as Bowie's best since Scary Monsters. This once again is true of Bowie's new release Reality, but it should really be taken on its own merits. Reality is a very strong piece of work, building on the success of 2002's highly successful Heathen. Some elements are similar to Heathen, the result of Bowies excellent live band, but this album is on the whole much more forceful and direct. This is Bowie at his confident best, he knows he's got it, all of it, and so the sound is relaxed and confident. Tunes such as Reality and Never Get Old are noticeably written to be played live and rock in the manner of the glam glitterburst, Hallo Spaceboy. At other moments, the album is reminicent of Young Americans, with "She'll Drive the Big Car" and the slow ballad "Days" is simply beautiful. The Album is opened strongly by New Killer Star, and the closing track, "Bring me the Disco King" a number which bowie has allegedly been toying with for years is packed with wistful emotion. The Special Edition also comes with An excellent near instrumental, "Queen of all the Tarts" and a recent version of Rebel Rebel. An excellent album, showing Bowie at his strongest and most creative for years, certainly the strongest for a decade, and in its own right, a great piece of work and one of Bowie's best so far.
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on 19 September 2003
I bought Heathen following all the great reviews and believing the "best since Scary Monsters.." hype. It wasn't. Reality,however is.
Staying with his touring band and with Tony Visconti at the production healm, his Dukeness has crafted a richly rewarding collection of songs. The opener, New Killer Star sturdily announces that Bowie is marching in a strong vein of form. The driving guitar driven theme continues into Pablo Picasso and follows through the album, with the exceptions of the quiet ballad The Loneliest Guy, and the louche, jazzy, Bring Me The Disco King.
Whereas, Heathen meandered and faded in the middle of the album, Reality is strong throughout, with hardly a weak spot, or track that you would skip past.
This is a good album, as soon as it had finished, I wanted to play it again.
Should you buy it? If you liked Heathen, Heroes, ..hours, Scary Monsters; in a word, definitely.
It's arguable whether it's worth paying extra for the bonus CD pack: you get about 10 minutes of music over three tracks, one of which is a routine re working of Rebel Rebel. The remaining tracks are good efforts though, and don't come across as session out-takes, which can often be the case with so called "bonus" material.
Again, good album, highly recommended.
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on 25 April 2013
This is not the David Bowie of the Serious Artistic Statement (Diamond Dogs, Station to Station, Heroes and latterly The Next Day), it's Bowie making some great songs, presumably with a view to touring them. Think Aladdin Sane or perhaps Lodger, both of which are full of original treatments of fairly standard song formats and catchy tunes. The rocking pop songs (New Killer Star, Fall Dog, Reality) are all fine, but for me the highlights are the utterly barmy take on The Modern Lovers' Pablo Picasso (a song whose premise is barmy enough as it is) and the grand finale of Bring Me The Disco King, which starts off like late era Steely Dan, but soon heads somewhere rather more strange and twisted.

I pretty much gave up on Bowie after Tin Machine and Earthling, so this album and its predecessor passed me by ten years ago. I'm pleased that the hoo-ha over The Next Day has led me back to it.
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on 20 August 2012
At first I was quite skeptical about this album, it sounded very generic but after awhile it became one of my favorites with amazing songs like Days and She'll drive the big car. Other excellent ones include New killer star, bring me the disco king, never get old and the title track.
There not a single bad song on here and any Bowie fan should definitely have this.
Great cover aswell.
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on 9 September 2003
Can he do no wrong (with the possible exception in some eyes of Tin Machine)? The man we all know as Bowie is back with a cracker of an album! Reality is no radical departure from his last, and critically acclaimed album, Heathen, and celebrates David's masterly songwriting and distinctive vocal style. He is clearly at home with his band, including the wonderful Gail Ann-Dorsey, Mike Garson, and former collaborator and producer Tony Visconti. The songs are great - without giving anything away, they range from poignantly melancholy to catchy tunes that rock out with style AND substance, and prove to all the critics out there that Mr Bowie hasn't lost his touch. Here's to the next 20 albums!
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