ALBUM COLUMBIA RELEASE: SEPTEMBER
17, 2003 REVIEW: OCTOBER 9, 2003
to the press release, this is David Bowie’s 26th album. It’s
difficult not to be impressed by the fact that someone with that much
behind him can still muster enough creativity to keep them coming.
The downside to this is that very few of his albums from the last twenty
years or so have been worth paying much attention to. Bowie’s 80’s
were largely disastrous, but with “Outside” and “Earthling”
in the mid-90’s he made a sort of creative comeback. He seemed to
have regained some sort of creative focus, and once again his music sparkled
with ideas. Both albums were uneven, but impressive in their feverish
urges to mine new ground.
But just as I thought Bowie was back as someone to be reckoned with, he
released the bland soft rock of “...hours”, And last year’s
“Heathen” wasn’t much to get enthusiastic about either.
On “Reality” Bowie slips even further into some sort of creative
coma. The production is modern, but hopelessly impersonal, and the songs
well crafted, but so anonymous that I can hardly remember a single chorus
even after repeated listens. It’s probably in order that a 56-year-old
with 35 years as a recording artist behind loses his edge, and although
I don’t expect him to deliver a new “Station to Station”
or “Low”, I can’t help but being disappointed in Bowie
for resorting to this mediocre level.