Review Revue: Lou Reed – New York

Lou Reed

Ahhh, New York. What could be more controversial, more inspiring of both gushing love and bitter derision, than the city of New York (currently hosting CMJ and many of our KEXP DJs, of course)? Well, maybe New York, the 1989 album by Lou Reed. It took me a while to figure out just what album this was, it was so covered in reviews and comments and backtalk, so I knew I had the perfect fodder for the blog. All right, enough chitchat; let’s get into it!

“Finally, after some 18 albums Lou Reed has found a label that will let him do what he wants — so, it’s Back to Basics, a lot of this LP reminds of the simple beauty of the Velvet Underground (Moe Tucker is on 2 cuts). On this LP Lou is very political, but his writing is true street poetry. This is his masterpiece, a record that grows on you. A few Red Dots but still lots to play.”

“Very few albums these days make you stop what you are doing & listen to the lyrics. This is one of them.”

“I’ve heard only a few songs off this LP, and I can’t say that I’m particularly thrilled. Many of the criticisms he makes have been made 100s of times before… and often better. (Lou even makes a factual mistake in ‘Sick of You.’ He calls Richard Second William Second.) Lou is no doubt wealthy and, by most standards, a successful man. I can’t believe that he has been censored. He doesn’t have to sign with a major label. Few have had the lyrical liberty he has. Not everyone on RCA has been able to sing about drugs + orgies. Let’s keep things in perspective.”

“This doesn’t deserve H. It’s not lighting up my phones. I’d much rather play ‘This Gift’ than this 2nd rate MTV trend scooter music. So there.”

“Oh Phil, you are such a rock historian. Slip on an Aerosmith disc, maybe ‘Rocks’ or ‘Toys in the Attic’ next you’re spazzin’ over the ‘latest guitar thang.”

“Take a listen! ‘Endless Cycle’ is great! Lou & his many hats (+ cigarettes)!”

“The listeners on NNTNBT loved this disc.”


“Contrived anger for the masses.”

“It’s trendy to love this record and trendy to hate it. I’m one of the loving trendies. Bravo Lou!”

“This isn’t just good music. It should go in H because of the material, which is presented so well. AIDS and prostition, crack & cops, booze and kids, whales and creeks. Some of the cuts here remind me of particular cuts off Reed’s other LPs, in content or style, but this is brand new stuff and hell, Reed’s doing just what he’s been trying to do all of his career – presenting some of the shit in life today in the USA that makes him angry and afraid. Reed’s anger is in some ways directed at the government/instutitions who WE should realize are responsible for us not being able to play all of 1.1, 1.3, 1.6 on the air. H all the way. A very well-put together LP.”

“Oh he looks so cool! He sounds so aware! I think he sucks. $ Oh, and it’s BOOORING too.”

“‘Halloween Parade’ is brilliant + quite sad.”

“A great record!”

“I’ve never been a fan of the man (his solo stuff, at any rate), but this is a pretty cool return to form. ‘Hold on’ rocks!”

“After witnessing this clown as co-host on ‘120 Minutes’ (OK I was bored, so there) [thank you, youtube!] and putting up with his ‘This is my opinion so fuck yours’ attitude, I doubt I’ll give it much of a chance — ‘sides, the cover’s way pretentious — what the hell would he know about life in the streets of NY — I doubt he had to scrimp and save too damn long for the leather-wear he’s sportin’ — go ahead, someone say it — ‘thinking person’s rock.’ Sorry folks, too many others doing ‘political’ that I’d rather give my ears, time & dough to.”

“This has nothing to do with the music.”

“It has [cut off]
to do with the [cut off]
can’t you see [cut off]”

“You mean, [cut off]”

“Alright X, how are you trying to convince us of your familiarity with NY?”

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One Comment

  1. jimmy-g
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Great basic guitar sound.Lyricly enticing.Strawman -“does anybody need another politician,caught with his pants down and money sticking out his hole”,couldn’t be more …….

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