Easy Listening Album From Start To Finish...,Mostly. 95/100
Theres nothing so overrated as a supergroup and so underrated as an
album which is easy on the ear from start to finish. Didnt really have any
expectations listening to this band for the first time...I knew that they had a
good reputation, but also knew that some people at this site really hated
this album...so, was prepared to hate this album too, if req uired. Anyway,
this is an excellent album orientated experience: melodic, experimental at
times and Dylan-esque as far as some of the songs lyrics go. This is the
only Velvet Underground which features European female singer Nico,
who does sound and deliver lyrics like a European Joan Baez...with an
accent. At times this jars, but at other times it is a treat. She is only on a
few of the songs in any case.
The best track:
Venus in furs - odd sounding song with strange sounding violins. Nice
guitar notes with a simple beat on the bongos or whatnot. Lou Reed
sounds like Bob Dylan in this song.
Next best track:
All tomorrows parties - Nico, still sounding like English is her second
language, brings a good quality to her voice here...not sure what it is
called...vibrato? Anyway, perhaps she can be described as having a touch
of Marianne Faithful about her vocal performance. Single minded piano in
this song, with some psychedelic guitar sounds in this song. A pleasant
song. She seems to love the word Clown as it is not the first time she sings
it in this album.
Best after that:
Sunday morning - a pleasant, sleepy ballad. Sort of like one of those tv
show songs which maybe a band like The Monkees might have performed.
Features something like a xylophone, which is nice and melodic. Male lead
singer has a breathy quality to their singing. I like Nicos nice, subtle
backing vocals in this song.
Best of the rest:
Im waiting for the man - a rocknroll song featuring the piano and fuzzy
sounding guitars. Lead guitar picks clear and clean notes. Lou sings about
Femme fatale - a pleasant ballad with nice note picking on the guitar. Nico
is breathy and sounds sort of maamish, enunciation wise...Joan Baez
territory, but much more sensual. The lyrics are sometimes weak and song
features male backing vocals.
Run run run - features a country flavoured rock guitar. Lou sings on this
song. Has some bad feedback on the guitar...distortion, sometimes. I
suppose you could put that down to bad technique, but the rest of the
album doesnt go off the rails like that does, soundwise.
The black angels death song - Dylan-esque wordiness by Lou here, but it
is much more engaging than Dylan is...on a record like Blood on the tracks
the overall album gets marked down by me because a couple of the songs
are just interminable shaggy dog stories. With Lou here, I dont really hold a
grudge against him, like I do with Dylan sometimes. Another track which
has some strange sounding violins. Occasionally fuzzy in sound too,
perhaps signifying that their studio was not adequate to capture their
Heroin - 7:11 long. Mostly pleasant sounding ode to the drug, with nice
sounding guitars and violins, but later the violin becomes screechy. The
drumming is interesting...might be using a bongo or some such. There are
nice guitar and drum bits in this song.
There she goes again - the intro reminds me of Barry McGuires classic
song War. A poppy treatment of a demi-monde subject matter (a low Bob
Dylan, if you will), with male backing vocals. Another song with a nice
guitar and drum bit to it.
Ill be your mirror - Nico back in breathy mode, as she was for Femme
fatale. Maamish quality to her voice as well. A light, pleasant song with
some nice notes picked on the guitar.
European son - 7:46 long. another track with a country flavoured rock
guitar. Descends into a long experimental sounding instrumental...vaguely
noise rock, if you will. Its basically a noisy rock jam outro which takes up
the majority of this songs length. Guitars have feedback on them
sometimes. A bassy track too. The bass melody reminds me of O.M.Ds
Locomotion melody and the choppy guitar notes remind me of the riff to
Michael Jacksons Beat it...so, maybe these bands were influenced by
songs on this album?
In conclusion, Id say that this is a quietly great album...dont expect killer
songs...its more album orientated, and if you appreciate pleasant sounding
songs, this album has a lot to offer.
The Dandy Warhols. Albums like 13 tales and Come down, if you like this
Cream: Wheels of fire. A classic album, in an English style.
Midnight Oil: Red sails in the sunset. Modern pop/rock, with a bit of an arty
bent to it.
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