Berlin Review

artist: Lou Reed date: 11/09/2012 category: compact discs
Lou Reed: Berlin
Released:July, 1973
Genre:Rock, Art rock
Label:Morgan Studios, Record Plant Studios
Number Of Tracks:10
"Berlin" is probably Lou Reed's most technically impressive record on first listen.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 9
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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review (1) 8 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Berlin Reviewed by: BillyShears93, on november 09, 2012
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Sound: "Berlin" is probably Lou Reed's most technically impressive record on first listen. The production is grand, and due to the initial failure of sales, was the biggest sound Lou would be able to afford in his solo career. Despite being labeled as a solo release, many of the album's strengths come from the backing band, such as the excellent Steve Hunter on electric guitar, as Lou devotes himself to acoustic guitar, piano, and of course lead vocals. // 10

Lyrics: Lou is truly in a league of his own in terms of lyricism; whether that's a good thing or not depends on the taste of the listener. Compositions like "The Kids" and "The Bed" can be challenging for first timers. Like Bob Dylan, Lou Reed defines the difference between "singer" and "vocalist". His range is minimal but the deliverance of the deeply poetic lyrics is fantastic. His voice is irreplaceable and tracks like "Oh Jim" and the grand finale "Sad Song" exemplify the power of vocal simplicity. Enthusiasts of concept albums will find a lot to love here as the record tells a melancholy and cryptic tale of a doomed relationship. // 9

Overall Impression: "Berlin" is a fantastic followup to the well-loved "Transformer" and a mighty work in its own right. In this reviewer's opinion, it is an essential album in any listener's collection. Unlike some of Lou Reed's other releases (many of which are well worth checking out), "Berlin" is easy to enjoy taken out of context from the rest of his discography. Its grand scope is admirable and inspiring, and it is a wonderful piece to play along to and learn. I personally wish there was an official tab book released as there is much to analyze, particularly Steve Hunter's lead guitar work (which is stellar). If you enjoy "Berlin", I encourage watching the 2007 DVD of the album played in its entirety live, as it is also quite good. // 10

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