Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lou Reed

In the wake of this whole Lou Reed thing I decided to do a review in memory of him. I'm not a huge fan, but you know, why not to remember him. But Bowie loved him, he collaborated with Metallica, he made fucking Metal Machine Music, and he sang Perfect Day. Those are huge accomplishments in my book. So in honor of the litta' bastard from Brooklyn I decided to review an album I've been wanting to do, but was to lazy to, but now have an excuse. But seriously at the end of the day, if you could be half as important to music as Lou Reed then I salute you. Now enought talking and let's get down to the review.
  1. I Can't Stand It: This song is pretty solid to start off the album. I like the women backing singers. This song appeared on The Velvet Underground's live album 1969. I like this version more then the VU version from the outtakes LP released in '85. This is a fun and good way to start out an album. The drums in the beginning remind me of the drum intro to the David Bowie song from 1970 The Supermen. This is in the same vein as Vicious but that doesn't make it bad. This version has more soul to it. The solo's also pretty solid for the track. The tone is great and I like it overall. This is the best version.
  2. Going Down: In essence this is a ballad. This is a pretty good song, the only complaint it that I can't really hear Lou and the song drowns him. Other than that it's a great song. This song is really upbeat and is a fun short listen.
  3. Walk and Talk It: This riff reminds me of BTO or another riff driven classic rock band. This song has a classic riff leading it and has those female backing singers again. This is a good song. When you compare it to the VU version it's faster and more exciting. It is a demo but more in the vein of the Grateful Dead or The Rolling Stones. This is the superior version.
  4. Lisa Says: This song has that soul vibe to it that the rest of the album has. It's a pretty good song, but I'm starting to run out of other words to say for these songs. I hope that changes a little. The song seems to change after a drum "fill"  into Goodnight Ladies. Not lyrically, but musically. Minus the horns. It's a pretty great song to dance to. For me to dance to at least. Then repeats to the beginning of the song until the end. It's long, but it's length is justified.
  5. Berlin: Later rerecorded as the title track for his 1973 album, this originally appeared here. On this version it's longer, by like two minutes. The version on Berlin is kind of like a piano/vocal sole song. It's got an avant-garde feel to it there. This version has more of a jazz feel to it. This song feels like it might be played in a jazz club. This is a pretty relaxing song. This is a pretty great ballad, and is better than the titular track version. Damn, this is another great solo that fits the song.
  6. I Love You: This sounds like Never Going Back Again. That song didn't come out until 1977 on Fleetwood Mac's classic Rumours. There is a country vibe to this song that is just missing the twang. But I like that there isn't a twang. That'd kind of be overkill.
  7. Wild Child: This is song reminds me a ton of Let Me Sleep Beside You. That's an unreleased, at the time, song by David Bowie from 1968. It's very eerie how similar they are. The pre-choruses melodies are very similar. You need to listen to them back to back and then tell me what you think. This is a good song, but I kind of like the "Bowie" version more. The bass line in this song though is sick. I like the gallop of it. 
  8. Love Makes You Feel: This is a love song. I don't think it's amazing, but I do like the drums in the chorus. This is a fun song, but it's not the best on the album. I also like the acoustic guitars at the end.
  9. Ride into the Sun: This has a funky intro, and kicks the Velvets demos ass. This is a pretty great song that would probably be fun to play. The song kind of goes down hill for me, but the solos good. Maybe it's because I'm tired, but still.
  10. Ocean: This track was another outtake from Loaded that Reed reused. The outtake isn't that bad. If you have to compare it to the official version its not as powerful. This track closes Reed's first solo album. This is a pretty song and its pretty tough. It doesn't seem like it's gonna pussy out on you. The piano sounds sick and the arpeggios in there. This kind of paints a picture of an ocean with the sounds. Great ending for the album and kind of makes me want to listen to Transformer in whole. This has an epic finish feeling to it. I also like the outro of the song. You'll have to see yourself.
Overall this album gets a 7.4/10. What do I think about reusing outtakes for solo albums, well The Beatles did it. Not Guilty, Teddy Boy, Jealous Guy, Circles, All Things Must Pass, and more than just that. So yes, it's kind of cheap, but if it's good, it's good. Also how could you say no to that cute little bird on the cover. Yes this isn't as good as Transformer, but it is essentially a first solo album. Starting his own thing, but also taking use of his past to try and make himself. If we can learn anything from Lou it's that "your going to reap just what you sow". So all I can say to that is Goodnight Ladies, Goodnight Lou, Goodnight world. Lets look forward to a better tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Spotlight Kid - Captain Beefheart

This is the, in his lifetime, only album credited to a sole Captain Beefheart. This followed the more mature Trout Mask the 1970 album Lick My Decals Off, Baby. (Note in 1971 Mirror Man was released, but that's hardly an album, it's of outtakes from the 60's). This is a HUGE change of pace from Lick My Decals. By a more mature Trout Mask Replica I meant it's even odder and more developed. It's Aladdin Sane is to Ziggy as Decals is to Trout.
  1. I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby: The way this song is it reminds me, vaguely, of Ice Cream For Crow. I do like the growl vocal thing he's doing. That also reminds me of Boris The Spider. This is a slick song. It's pretty easy to listen to compared to Trout, as called by the BBC1 Doc I saw, or Lick My Decals. He does do a Beafheartian vocal, but only vaguely. If the entire albums like this, it won't be that terrible.
  2. White Jam: This reminds me of Blue Jeans & Moonbeams. This is a, kind of, pretty song. At least in the beginning. This song has, in his voice in the beginning, some muffin remnants of She's Too Much For My Mirror. You can use your white jam all you want. As long as its not Raspberry Jam, because Lone Star already has that taken Don
  3. Blabber 'n Smoke: This is actually a great track. I really was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I like this songs title. This song has a drive to it. I also like the way he sings this song. I think the xylophone sounding instrument is cool. I saw the Family Guy the other day where Louis models. The part when she "plays" her ribs cuz she's so skinny. It's at the end of the episode. Regardless, that reminded me of that. But I also like how it's kind of weird.
  4. When It Blows Its Stacks: You can always expect bizarre, I did that on purpose, song titles on Beefheart albums. I love that though. This track isn't as good as the two it's between, but that's ok. This song is solid. I like the crunch of the guitar in this song. 
  5. Alice in Blunderland: I like the title to this track. I think it's pretty cool. This is an instrumental, featuring that xylophone I was mentioning before. But get this, there's a Zappa-esque guitar solo in this track. It's really cool hearing this. Damn!, and this goes by too fast. This could be part two of the previous track. The melody could actually be a Zappa melody. This could be one of his songs from the Zappa / Mothers period, from '73-'75. This is a great song. It's cooler though as a follow up from the last track. 
  6. The Spotlight Kid: The title track to this LP comes in the middle. Though this album is technically slower and simpler, that doesn't mean there isn't anything happening. Like on this track, it's odd. This seems like he found that xylophone and tries to use it as much as possible. (I've done that before). Also I  do like how the instruments do play the same notes. It sounds sick. 
  7. Click Clack: This song has a harmonica and is fast. It's kind of upbeat and exciting. But at the same time it's kind of overwhelming. That's whats great about him. Lots of his songs make you feel confused. I like the train vibe to it and also the megaphone thing he did. 
  8. Grow Fins: A great box-set of outtakes and live recordings Beefheart songs is named after this track. I like this track too. The lyrics in this song are ok. I think that this is a good track too. I don't really know how to describe it different from any of the other tracks. This song has a type of like island thing I'm imagining. Kind of, but that's just me.
  9. There Ain't No Santa Claus on the Evenin' Stage: As the title suggests there are sleigh bells in the song. This is an odd track. I could see this being on Shiny Beast. Though this is easy to listen to, it has that weird guitar slide thing Don loves. I like the "ho ho ho's" in the song. It's kind of funny. And it's not too long. It's a pretty quick track too. 
  10. Glider: This closes the album. I'm glad I'm finally getting this up. This track kind of drags for me, but that probably because its almost over. 
Overall I have to give this album a 7/10. For a more commercial direction this ain't that bad. This is "slower" (in terms of tempo) and "simpler" (in terms of performance) but still good. I'd suggest this to people who aren't, and probably never will be, into avant-garde. Blame the sound on his wife, she contributed in writing (she's credited at least). The album gets better as it progresses. Art Tripp and Elliot Ingber both play on this album.