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David Bowie - "Reality"
Columbia Records 2003

Let us throw away our disguise built on metal taboos and jump into some other distant galaxy. Wow!!! What an opening with New Killer Star with creepy and crunchy new aged dirtier heavily vibrated sound, that brings some close connections with what David was doing with Tin Machine at the end of eighties. It reminds even by Bowie's new image. David is somehow turning back to deliver again some rock, that is for sure.

Galactic modern guitar sounds with groovy shaky treble riffage basement in Pablo Picasso, another fantastic cover that speaks about macho guy who got never called an asshole at least in New York! Straight crochet right between the eyes to the narrow minded decadent American society. Leaded by pure rocking drive with nice addition of twisted Spanish flamenco guitar. Of the same rocking flavour is also piece like frenzy and almost sarcastic Looking For Water which contains true island production with bass line that cuts through concrete. Not to mention title song with some hard edged guitar riffing.

Back vocals with nice palette of twisted chorales of many different Bowies glued together, build fantastic background and fulfill the sound picture. But David didn't forget to put again very tasty female back vocals, too. Keyboard arrangements make perfect counter weight to electric guitar,. Something he was use to combine quite a long ago. The Loneliest Guy serves as stark contrast, yet frosting moment full of sadness. It is placed between two rocking pieces Looking For Water and Never Get Old.

In She'll Drive The Big Car went Bowie even closer to roots of rock and roll. Tasty addition of harmonica, vocal production in centre gives an impression as if it would deriving out of telephone cabin, with that special echo that was authentic for seventies. It is another Bowie's monument to the Rolling Stones immortality. Majority of songs bases on intense rhythm line drive.

Days is brilliant puzzle where orchestral arrangements provide some special ambient feel and where everything fits together (all arrangements) on a perfect way. Nothing more to say. G. Harrison's cover Try Some, Buy Some with waltz sailing rhythm proves once again Bowie's sharp sensitiveness and his genuine abilities to decode and integrate certain artist's work into his own musical language. This is truly another Bowe's master-re-work of certain classic. But as a song it is probably the weakest moment because of its structure that somehow doesn't fit to the shape of Bowie's new record.

Bring Me The Disco King with jazz rhythm line taken from thirties or forties, dictated through drum brushes is brilliantly balanced with grand piano arrangements that floats out of time and space. Here steps David in the centre and twists some Frank Sinatra. Dissonant as only he can be. Complete disillusion over life in modern society. David is floating gently, with ease and tender through his verses.

Cold breeze of unrepeatable unique dissonant singing, as one of Bowie's trademarks, is present through entire record. No complicating, no big words, no special mouth stretching to let big words come right out, but constant presence of simple short rational moves with no waste of energy that builds another phenomenal Bowie's invention. "Reality" is refreshing point. Bowie is rocking again. No pathetic nostalgia over past! He simply rocks on a very relaxing way. Fluid and diverse album consisted of short easy rocking pieces where new refreshed romantic rocking approach spontaneously joins Bowie's classical rock roots! It seems that Martian David stopped his star ship for a while and joined us all living in the present. Modest, no big shows, no kings, no queens. New suit fits perfect to Bowie. It provided freedom for him to compose songs that can be branded as the finest material since quite a while.

Author:   Aleš

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