Saturday, August 29, 2015

Squeeze - The Velvet Underground

For whatever reason I've been siting on this review for at least a month or two. This review was done in a day, outside of one song (which i had to look up for the description. That was actually what was holding it up). So I don't get why it wasn't up sooner. Considering that I now have some 200+ drafts accumulated for review, why not get some done. Anyway; this is the fifth, and often forgotten (intentionally), Velvet Underground album. It was released in February 1973, and was the final studio album by the group before the break up. Now I get the whole "not a Velvet's album" belief, because technically it wasn't. There were no original members, and the only member who played who was a member before Lou left was Doug Yule..  He replaced Cale in September 1968, making his first album appearance album titled The Velvet Underground from 1969. Now Lou Reed left in August 1970, Sterling left in August 1971, and Maureen officially left in December 1971. So from January 1972 to February 1973 Doug was the only actual member. This album also features performances by Malcolm (just credoted as the forst name) on saxophone, who is believed to be Malcolm Duncan was as founding member of the Average White Band. The other performer is a drummer from Deep Purple, Ian Paice. Though he plays on I believe every track. And to be honest, if you can look past the sort of false advertisement.... This ain't half bad. PS my next VUview will be my favorite, and in my opinion the first real punk album.
  1. Little Jack: Opening the record, I'm surprised how not terrible this is. Everywhere I've heard or read about this its pretty much treated like its shit. Seriously, the places I've read about this mention it not being a good album, but this album is starting out pretty decent. It has a 
  2. Crash: The beginning of this song reminds me of shit ton of one of the more child friendly, novelty esque White Stripes songs. It reminds me mostly of just their honky tonk cute piano vocal songs. It also reminds me a little of Bowie's more show tunes esque Hunky Dory. Maybe Fill Up Your Heart. This could would actually fit snugly on that album. Out side of those comparisons, I like the song, but I have nothing else to say about it. The vocals actually remind me a little of Transformer's more show tuney songs. And I guess the endings kinda funny. Okay now I have nothing else to say. :)
  3. Caroline: This song sounds like it's a rocker, but not over powering. So maybe like an older rocker. But the lead vocals the second they started reminded me of the vocals singing the song from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Pod People. The part when he's in the recording studio, this sound literally sound like that could be the song featured in the movie they riffed. Well with a Beach Boy, Gary 'U.S.' Bonds inspired intro, but played at the end.
  4. Mean Old Man: The title reminds me of Mean Old Frisco, or funny enough to a lesser extent Mean Mr Mustard. This is more of a rocker, like a hard rocker. The last was a more 50's rock and roll song... kinda. This is more of a 70's rocker I could hear Clapton playing.
  5. Dopey Joe: This sounds like it'd fit on Transformer, just with more saxophones. Well kinda, the beginning at least. It kind of goes back and forth between one of those and honestly a Clapton or maybe a Stones song. It kinda reminds me a little of Start Me Up, among others.
  6. Wordless: This sounds like a song off All Things Must Pass, but what song....... Either that or a Dead song.
  7. She'll Make You Cry: Shit I can't think of..... The Dead. With a more rocking, at parts, played by not a member of the group.
  8. Friends: Maybe a Badfinger song, a ballad.
  9. Send No Letter: Another classic rock and roll tribute. Sung by a Reed sound alike.
  10. Jack & Jane: This has a definite glam feel that songs like Wagon Wheel and the more generic glam songs on Transformer. The only real difference is switching out backing vocals, and instead of having Bowie having some less interesting.
  11. Louise: This has a very ump pah pah piano. This is a pretty good song, that I honestly can't compare to anything. Well at least another artist. Except the whole Grateful Dead vocals, and the "Louieeeeeese eeeese" part. But I love how hypnotic it is. It reminds me of how hypnotic Being of the Benefit for Mr. Kite is, the first time they go into the psychedelic circus part. And I really wanna sing along to that part. That part reminds me of another song, but I really don't care. I really like the guitar tone here, and how in the beginning is more in the background. Also  I love the harpsichord sound,  and this song if you had the right guitar player it could be dragged out into like a long extended solo. And that part that follows the vamp, the piano voice part reminds me of if Elliott Smith covered Paranoid Android the same way he did Because. To be honest this is definitely the best, and most fleshed out, song here. I could totally see myself revisiting this song multiple times. Hell I might even want to learn it. With a few little touches up here and there this could be on par with the other classic tracks by the band. Honestly this is, if maybe fleshed out a little more could be as amazing as Paranoid Android. I could also be crazy. 
Overall I have to give this album a 6.5/10. Besides the fact it sould be considered a Yule solo album, this album isn't that terrible. It actually reminds me of the Tony Visconti solo album. Just a mix bag of styles, sounds, influences, and songs he wrote over a period of time. This is more of a solo album for a member of a band who wanted to play songs he loves and pay tribute to those styles. I think if the Velvet name wasn't tagged on here it wouldn't be so forgotten and hated. I mean at the end of the day the music here is very inoffensive and this could possibly be the most diverse of all the Velvet albums, and it's fun to listen to. Hell its more fun then Loaded, the "commercial album" by the group. If you can over look that little artist name, then I think you might like this, and if you like rock that's not bad or negative in any way, you'll like this. The only downside is there are a few generic songs, but what album post White Heat/White Light didn't. 

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