Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vinyl Exam- Lou Reed "New York"

I really didn’t become a fan of Lou Reed until I bought his 1984 release “New Sensations” on cassette. I used to listen to it when I worked at a record store.

His music reminds me of a combination of Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan. It also has some of the electric rawness of Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
The chord progressions are not usually very complicated but the performances are passionate and a lot of importance placed on the lyrics. I don’t listen to him that often. I have to be in the mood. This past Sunday, I was in the mood and listened to some tracks in the car on a cold grey day.

“New York” released in 1989, was to me, his last great album. The whole album paints a grim portrait of the city and really America in general.

I don’t love it all, but the good songs are very good.

Dirty Blvd” was the first featured track. grim city life...

“There is no Time” moves along at a neurotic pace. You can feel the anxiety of modern living boil.
This is no time to swallow anger
This is no time to ignore hate
This is no time to be acting frivolous
Because the time is getting late

“Last Great American Whale” is a slower meditation on the decay. His painter friend “Donald” is John Mellencamp.
                                                   Live farm Aid 1990

"Busload of Faith” is classic Lou. Naming all of things he feels you can’t rely on. A warning to the listener to toughen up. It’s a harsh world....

“Hold On”- another chaotic diatribe of the chaos that exists. Violence, etc...

“Good Evening Mr Waldheim” calls out social and political figures in high places (the Pope, Jesse Jackson, Kurt Waldheim.)

Reed really cuts loose on “Strawman”, a true cathartic release and indictment of power, greed and more.

The entire album:

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