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177 of 181 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality Comes Back - at Last!
You could say that the good news is the bad news concerning this long-overdue reissue, since with its release the entire recorded output of Detroit singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez is available to the public for the first time in over thirty-five years. That output consists of exactly two albums - 1970's COLD FACT and this 1971 follow-up - as well as three additional...
Published on May 29, 2009 by Richard B. Luhrs

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who produced this? Definitely not in Motown
Coldfact and Searching For Sugarman couldn't get any better. The producer of Coming From Reality totally changed Rodriguez' sound and tried to turn ihis lyrics into an orchestral troubadour genre. Talk about destroying a sound. There are a couple songs done in the "Sugar Man" style but on most of them you'd never know the singer/songwriter was Rodriguez. I'd like...
Published 17 months ago by Kathryn A. Smoke


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177 of 181 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality Comes Back - at Last!, May 29, 2009
By 
Richard B. Luhrs (Jackson Heights, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
You could say that the good news is the bad news concerning this long-overdue reissue, since with its release the entire recorded output of Detroit singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez is available to the public for the first time in over thirty-five years. That output consists of exactly two albums - 1970's COLD FACT and this 1971 follow-up - as well as three additional songs recorded later and first released many years after that. Not much of a catalogue, especially for one of the most unique and worthwhile songsmiths of the past four decades.
I've already touched on the mystery of Rodriguez - which, thanks to the extensive liner notes in these reissues, is no longer that much of a mystery - in my review of FACT, so I'll refer the curious to that nonpareil gem of musical criticism and get right down to brass tacks. COMING from REALITY is a fully worthy successor to FACT, with all of its creator's dizzying wordplay and compositional acumen intact, but it's also a very different album in many respects. Recorded in London with British session musicians and a full string section, REALITY inhabits a separate sonic territory from that of its Motor City predecessor. It's also a good deal less eclectic, which helps to enhance its "album feel" but also casts its weaker moments in sharper relief - not that there are all that many of them.
"Climb Up on My Music" is a tough, driving opener, instantly establishing that blown-glass balance of pop accessibility and esoteric intelligence which has always distinguished the greatest songwriters. "A Most Disgusting Song" is in fact a spoken poem (Proto-rap?) of deceptively humorous twists, while "And I Think of You" is one of Rodriguez's most affecting ballads, a lost love tale equal in its naked sentiment and plausibility to FACT's brief, brilliant "Forget It." "Heikki's Suburbia Bus Tour" brings on the social commentary which dominates the latter half of REALITY in its surreal story of middle America remade as a tourist attraction. "Silver Words?" is a lightweight love song, cute enough but probably a bit too happy for its own good.
Side two of the original LP opens with "Sandrevan Lullabye - Lifestyles," Rodriguez's longest track and a beautifully bitter assault on society's failures effectively sandwiched between two heavily orchestrated instrumental sections. "To Whom It May Concern" is the "snap out of it" tune on this collection, and like most such numbers it doesn't add terribly much. "It Started Out So Nice," however, is powerful stuff, juxtaposing a mythical yesterday of poetic prettiness against the dashed hopes of the present with the aid of a lovely and unintrusive string backing. "Halfway Up the Stairs" is pure fluff, but its mindless positivity almost makes sense as a prelude and first aid kit for "'Cause," Rodriguez's lyrical magnum opus and the most sublimely realized rumination on the very real horrors of human existence you're ever likely to hear. This song makes "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" sound like "Old MacDonald" and closes REALITY with nothing whatsoever left to say.
Not on this CD, however. The final fragments of Rodriguez's musical oeuvre have been appended to his final album for this release, and the listener benefits greatly as a result. Recorded in 1972 or '73 (presumably as the kernel of a planned third album which, like the man's work en toto, was regrettably nipped in the bud), "Can't Get Away," "Street Boy" and "I'll Slip Away" are all winners, the first continuing the episodic social criticism of earlier songs but with a more personalized slant; the second a tuneful, undramatized portrait of a lost soul; and the last a clever farewell number in the best Rodriguez fashion - first class all the way.
Where COLD FACT enjoys that peculiar perfect beauty which only pure accident can achieve, COMING from REALITY makes a concerted effort to be beautiful; and while it succeeds much of the time - resulting in several tracks which are, if anything, stronger than even FACT's best material - there's no denying that it's the patchier half of the pair overall. Nevertheless, "'Cause" and the bonus tracks easily elevate this disc to five-star status, as does the sheer inescapable quality of the artist. I cannot possibly recommend both Rodriguez albums highly enough to anyone reading this. The chance to grab the complete works of a man whose music can comfortably rub shoulders with that of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen or Bruce Springsteen in two easy purchases is not one to be missed. We are all the poorer for the long and storied career Sixto Rodriguez should have had; but we are certainly the richer for having what little there was of that career within reach once again.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another gem from Rodriguez., July 24, 2011
By 
John R. Rogers (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
After having his "At his Best" CD i thought i would see what his other CD was like. I am so glad i purchased this as it is in the same quality. You cannot go wrong with this one....the songs are infectious and who would believe this is from another era.
Sounds as fresh as today. This guy deserves more recognition.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How did we miss this!!, October 22, 2012
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This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
Fabulous, just fabulous. I listen over and over. Beautiful ballads on this one. The great shame is the loss of the body of work that Rodriguez would have created if he had had just some success here. Someone should do an investigative piece on why he didn't make it here. But so happy we have these two terrific albums.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for Sugar Man, October 21, 2012
By 
H. Durst "cocoa lover" (Hillsboro, OR United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
Saw the movie, went home and ordered Rodriguez' CDs. No disappointment, the music is just like that in the movie, and Rodriguez is fantastic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars be beautiful forever, June 5, 2014
By 
This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
"Climb Up On My Music" begins this VERY popular album that I haven't even heard of until tonight! Wow and I thought I was really knowledgeable concerning 60's and 70's music. How could I totally not know anything about this one? Is Rodriguez one of those Nick Drake and Velvet Underground types that spent years going unnoticed until the time was right for them to get the appreciation they deserve? And the time is *now?* Well I'm sure Coming From Reality's popularity is based on Rodriguez's influence and recognition in South Africa (as well as the popular Searching for Sugar Man film based on Rodriguez life story) and we all know how big/well-known South Africa has become nowadays don't we? Anyway this song is pretty awesome- "Just climb upon my music and my songs will set me free." The electric guitar feels likes it's hitting all the right emotional notes and the keyboard's moody in a "Riders On the Storm" kind of way.

"A Most Disgusting Song" is a storyteller type of song like uh, Don McLean, Harry Chapin and Bob Dylan. It's nothing but actual talking with moody piano and subjects concerning SO many things such as French kissing, partying, the same old crowds, store bought items, someone who speaks of the past, standing at half mass, Martha's Vineyard... a rich variety of subjects. Rodriguez is quite the wordsmith and he nicely demonstrates it here. "I Think of You" strangely reminds me of Country Joe & the Fish with the vocal melody. I mean almost a startling comparison. Not to take anything away from Rodriguez' work of course. The lyrics and fruity vocal melody are a bit too lovey dovey for my liking but the acoustic guitar is nice.

"Heikki's Suburbia Bus Tour" is a mid 60's Bob Dylan-like rocker with nice electric guitar work and interesting lyrics about freedom. Absolutely a great song! "Silver Words?" has great lyrics- "the angels in the skies, were envious and surprised, that anyone as nice as you would chance with me" and beautiful orchestration to enhance it even more. "Sanrevan Lullaby" begins with some devastatingly "Benji come home" type of balladry with lovely guitar arrangements before the vocals come in and you know, I have to ask something- do you think Al Stewart was a fan of Rodriguez? You know the guy who did "The Year of the Cat" and "Time Passages". Because it seems like Al Stewart's music is quite similar to this in its storyteller approach, carefree/uplifting arrangements, mood-shifting emotions concerning the vocal melodies and even the orchestration reminds me of Al Stewart. It would be one of the greatest tragedies in history if Al Stewart did copy his whole routine from this guy!

"To Whom It May Concern" has great lyrics about the side effects of sitting by and letting life pass you by. The strings and the great vocal melody itself are both strong benefits. "It Started Out So Nice" has more Country Joe & the Fish type lyrics, but truthfully the comparisons can't be shared from a lyrical standpoint- only the sound of Rodriguez voice alone. Lyrically Country Joe and Rodriguez are in two very separate worlds and Rodriguez *does* venture into deeper emotional journeys. Gotta give Rodriguez credit where it's due- the man pours his soul into his music and that can't be denied. "Halfway Up the Stairs" is memorable in an uplifting kind of way. "I don't want to seem impatient, and please don't think me fast, but we've got something going, and I don't wanna let it pass" is a great lyric.

"Cause" has lyrics about paying dues and uh, not really sure WHAT exactly is the main message behind the lyrics. Let's just enjoy the pleasant poetry "So I set sail in a teardrop and escaped beneath the doorsill, cause the smell of her perfume echoes in my head still". Ahhh, yes! "Can't Get Away" has a memorable chorus with all kinds of unique instrumental variety spicing up the vocal melody. The orchestration is quite prevalent and rich throughout this album which is surprising. It makes me think Rodriguez really was the real deal. "Street Boy" is harmless, lightweight and mildly interesting like a James Taylor song almost. "I'll Slip Away" is memorable for its playful, carefree lyrics.

Overall, I do believe Nick Drake, Al Stewart and Van Morrison fans would be exceptionally excited to come inside of Rodriguez world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Rodriguez "Hit", March 16, 2014
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This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
I purchased Coming from Reality and Cold Fact (Rodriguez's first release) at the same time (after watching Searching for Sugar Man). Both CDs just knocked my socks off.

Coming from Reality is by far the most solid set of tracks from the standpoint of production and arrangement. You could tell Producer Steve Rowland wanted to make this project a showcase for Rodriguez's talent and he did a great job of that.

Some have reviewed this project less favorable than the first release, Cold Fact, and I can understand that, because Cold Fact is a stripped down look at life from the prism of the inner city. But, I felt Coming from Reality brought Sixto's music to the next level where it belonged and that because of the attention to the bigger arrangements it put this particular work in its entirety on par of any of the great albums I've listened to over the last 50 years of my life (and that includes greats like the Beatles, Lou Reed, and such).

IF you are going to "invest" in Rodriguez, I would suggest you buy both CDs and then make your own decision. The only thing I think I can guarantee you is regardless of which one is your favorite, you will not be disappointed in either.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who produced this? Definitely not in Motown, September 8, 2013
This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
Coldfact and Searching For Sugarman couldn't get any better. The producer of Coming From Reality totally changed Rodriguez' sound and tried to turn ihis lyrics into an orchestral troubadour genre. Talk about destroying a sound. There are a couple songs done in the "Sugar Man" style but on most of them you'd never know the singer/songwriter was Rodriguez. I'd like to see this work reproduced in Motown and keep the sound and style of Rodriguez. Why try to change what works. Like changing Dylan s style into Michael Buble's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remember the Sixties, October 1, 2013
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This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
Music and lyrics that will remind you of Bob Dylan. I like both of Rodriguez's albums. Hard to believe he was missed by the U.S. mainstream
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did Not Like This CD At All, March 9, 2013
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This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
I bought the first Rodriquez CD "Cold Fact" and it is amazing....out of the 12 songs on that CD I'd give 10 of them 5 stars. This CD just did not do it for me. The music on Cold Fact had a real edge to it and and I am just speculating now but because Cold Fact was not a commercial success when it was released I'm guessing everyone who was involved with making Coming From Reality thought that they had to softened it up and try to make the music more commercial sounding because I thought the music was too over produced and kind of like elevator music especially compared to Cold Fact which was very original and I love that CD. Sorry if I have offended anyone here with my negative review of Coming From Reality but I love music and I was extremely disappointed with this CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rodriguez, April 26, 2014
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This review is from: Coming from Reality (Audio CD)
As in all his music, saw the movie, Searching for Sugarman and bought the CDS. Hear he is playing in New Orleans this weekend and in LA coming up. He is a good person and a little mixture of Bob Dylan with better music.
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Coming from Reality
Coming from Reality by Rodriguez (Audio CD - 2009)
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