The Velvet Underground Review

artist: velvet underground date: 06/02/2008 category: compact discs
velvet underground: The Velvet Underground
Released: 1969
Genre: Rock
Styles: Rock & Roll, Proto-Punk, Experimental Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
Upon first release, The Velvet Underground's self-titled third album must have surprised their fans nearly as much as their first two albums shocked the few mainstream music fans who heard them.
 Sound: 9.7
 Lyrics: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.7
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reviews (3) 4 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
The Velvet Underground Reviewed by: scorpio2billion, on june 02, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Velvets first record without John Cale, and his absence stripped away nearly all of the avant-garde European stylistic flourishes that made the first two albums so disconcerting to the public at the time. This is Lou Reeds band, playing Lou Reed songs. The group initially wanted to outscreech the previous two albums, and just scare the hell out of everyone, since they weren't getting any radio time or album sales anyway. However, right before entering the studio, they had all of their gear stolen, and were forced to perform much of the album on acoustic guitar and borrowed instruments, which definitely tones down the ferocity and leaves the songs to shine starkly through on their own. It's a fascinating album, even without the bombast and theatrics that took so many by surprise on their previous two efforts. In fact, people who HATE the Velvet Underground often love this album, as the softer side of Reeds writing is at the fore here. And nearly all of the songs are classics, which you can read about in a thousand elsewheres. Although it was the beginning of the end for The Velvets, it's a brilliant introduction to the songwriting prowess of Lou Reed, and an interesting look at the shock-rockers of their day maturing in a beautiful way. // 9

Lyrics: While Lou Reed is capable of some jarringly stark descriptions of urban life, here he shows a more introspective and occasionally even optimistic approach to his lyricism. Abandoning linear narratives on most of the songs, he seems to toy with softening up the image of the band, which he would also employ on the Velvets final album, although with not so graceful a touch. Reed has sometimes shown a tendency to coast along on his reputation and spit out some juvenile, thoughtless verses from time to time, but this album shows him fairly close to the top of his game, even as he was reinventing his style. // 8

Overall Impression: Compared to the drug-induced pipe dream music that was coming from the west coast at the time, and usually stands to represent the music of the era, The Velvet Underground seemingly were the elephant in the room in 1969. They stuck to their artistic intentions, whether they led them to blissed-out rock and roll salvation (Beginning to See the Light), regretful longing (After Hours), or resignation and tenderness (Pale Blue Eyes). It's greatest achievement, ahead of any other Velvets album, may lie in it's accessibility to those unfamiliar with them. It's a sweet and welcoming introduction to a band that still seems to need one. // 9

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overall: 10
The Velvet Underground Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 31, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Velvet's first album gets all the attention (and rightly so), but this album from 1968 (I think), is great in it's own way. OK, that's an understatement. It's actually a lesser known classic. The sound is quieter that the previous two albums and actually if you listened only to White Light/White Heat, you wouldn't believe it's the same band. It's folkish in parts, bluesy in parts, rocking in parts and then we have a surprise in The Murder Mystery close to the end that defies description. The music on here is wonderful. End of story. Candy Says glows and I couldn't believe the pretty chord changes when I first heard it. Some Kind Of Love is cool and laid back. What Goes On rocks. That chaotic double guitar solo has my brain rattled everytime. Other tunes include Beginning To See The Light, Jesus, Pale Blue Eyes and Afterhours. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrically, this album (according to Lou) is supposed to fit togeher as a whole. I personally don't care about that as the music is so impressive. That's not to say that the lyrics aren't great. They are. There's introspective lyrics, confessional lyrics and celebratory lyrics all written by the ever reliable hand some some guy in dark glasses (well, back then anyway). As far as I know, bassist Doug Yule sings on some of these songs. I think it's only Candy Says. He does a fine job, in my humble opinion. Not that I'd like to see the rest of songs recorded with Doug on vocals! But on Candy Says, he's fine. Lou's vocal delivery is great. My favourite is Some Kinda Love (or possibly Beginning To See The Light). // 10

Overall Impression: I won't repeat myself as I've already made it clear how great his album is, so I definitely would have to track down another copy were it stolen. The overall feeling of this album is quiet and intimate, with a few obvious exceptions! The Velvet Underground comes second to the first album in terms of sheer innovation and shock value but it's still a stone cold classic. Hear another side of the VU and then buy everything else! // 10

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overall: 10
The Velvet Underground Reviewed by: HelpMeImHungry, on april 06, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is not a album that the group put out, but a collection of previously unreleased recordings. This does not however comprimise the quality of the tracks. It isn't a quite maintstream, high quality sound, but its excellent none the less. On some tracks you can hear the various banther and other sounds. It seems to me the the tracks are more towards a little later style Velvet Underground. The Velvet Underground could be considered an acquired taste, but they are rock and roll revolutionaries. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are simply amazing. From songs like "I Can't Stand It" to "Andy's Chest," there is a constant amount of original and clever lyrics. Lou Reed is seasoned lyricist and fans of him will not be let down. // 10

Overall Impression: Personally, it is my favorite Velvet Underground record. I wish that it was a little bit longer, maybe a song or two. the songs "Foggy Notion" and "She's My Best Friend" seem to stand out to me. Of all my record collection this one is definitely one of the more valuable ones to me. // 10

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