The Philadelphia Inquirer - Oct 12th 2003

David Bowie: Reality

(ISO/Columbia ***1/2)

By A.D. Amorosi

David Bowie

New York's a heck of a town to David Bowie. But if 2002's Heathen was, like Springsteen's The Rising, a mournful work that questioned God, then Reality is a Sinatra-like tribute to the city that never sleeps.

On "Never Get Old," a resigned, persona-free Bowie looks at existence starkly and calmly as he ruminates on Manhattan's mood swings in a dry, clipped croon mirroring the lyrics. The reedy, complex arrangements employ a mesh of guitars, both crisp and fluidly askew.

And when Bowie embraces theatricality on the cabaret-jazzy "Bring Me the Disco King," it's with a caustic wink, not a batted eyelash.