Rolling Stone (10/2/03, p.117) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...REALITY turns out to be an intriguing place..."
Spin (12/03, pp.123-4) - "...REALITY is a relaxed, even graceful affair, the work of a gentleman hobbyist tinkering with sounds and style before retiring to his study..." - Grade: B-
Q (10/03, p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Bowie's best music since SCARY MONSTERS....The 49-minute, 11-track set edges towards excellence gradually, as if finding purpose and point through shredding layers of artifice..."
Uncut (01/04, pp.84-7) - Ranked #27 in Uncut's "Albums Of The Year 2003" - "REALITY continues the confident trajectory of last year's HEATHEN."
Magnet (11/03, p.88) - "...REALITY plays fast and loose, with melody beating mood every time. An unpretentious Bowie emerges..."
Mojo (Publisher) (10/03, p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...The sound of an artist engaging with his muse...Bowie's best album for 20 years..."
Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, guitar, baritone saxophone, keyboards); Gail Ann Dorsey (vocals); Tony Visconti (guitar, keyboards, bass, background vocals); Mark Plati (guitar, bass); Earl Slick, Gerry Leonard (guitar); Mike Garson (piano); Sterling Campbell, Matt Chamberlain (drums); Catherine Russell (background vocals).
Recorded at Looking Glass Studios, New York, New York.
"New Killer Star" was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
Based on the success David Bowie had by resurrecting his collaborative relationship with producer Tony Visconti on 2002's stellar HEATHEN, Bowie returned to the well with Visconti for its follow-up, REALITY. The result finds this New York City resident using his adopted hometown and cozy domestic life as impetus for another batch of fine millennial manna.
Featuring the backing of talented musicians such as guitarist Earl Slick, pianist Mike Garson, and drummer Sterling Campbell, the sound that permeates these 11 songs ranges from the SCARY MONSTERS-era shuffle of "Never Get Old" to the stripped-down, late-night lounge aura of "Bring Me the Disco King," a song dappled by Garson's piano runs and dusted off by Bowie after laying around for a decade. Balancing the sorrow of the sparse "The Loneliest Guy" with a sunnier mood, Bowie tips his hat to Jonathan Richman and George Harrison by way of eclectic covers of, respectively, "Pablo Picasso" and "Try Some, Buy Some," a little-known Harrison composition originally cut as a Ronnie Spector single. Avoiding the nostalgia treadmill that's mired down many of his peers, Bowie has instead used REALITY as yet another stepping-stone to latter-day greatness.