- 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.
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..."