Sound — 10
I first downloaded a few "choice" songs from iTunes, one being "Heroin". When I first listened to Heroin, I thought "WTF? Feedback? A viola? No bass? That drummer's not even in time!" and those songs sat neglected in my iTunes library. a few months later, and my friend and I were in the local record store, and I bought the album for the sheer fact that it had a cool banana on the cover. I then forced myself to listen to the album, and it definitely grew on me. This album definitely is not your run-of-the-mill mid-sixties album. While Grace Slick was singing about wanting "Someone To Love", Lou Reed was singing about everything that was "true" in life. Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. And While the Grateful dead were releasing albums with every chord shape available, The Velvets used essentially 2 Chords. You might think they're crazy. They Are.
Lyrics — 8
Lou Reed was a very creative lyricist. While many of the songs are of the same theme, drugs and masochism all around, they are still very different. Heroin is a prime example of amazing lyricism and musicianship. In Heroin, Lou sings about the ups and downs of heroin addiction, but never advocates, or does not advocate the use. As he sings, John Cale's plays a constant "d" on his viola while the guitars and drums speed up, representing the rush of heroin. As the user gets deeper and deeper into his addiction, things start to fall apart, as does the song. At the songs climax, Cale screeches upper notes while the guitars and drums play out of rhythm and settles out to the way it was before. Many of the songs are very emotive like this, and although Lou Reed doesn't have very pleasant sounding voice, he is very emotive, and you can really relate to his "common" voice. Nico, however is another story. Nico was plainly aweful, her voice was monotone and had a plain ugly voice.
Overall Impression — 8
This album has so many amazing songs, that are so different, it cannot compare to anything else. Heroin, Venus in Furs, Sunday Morning, and There She Goes Again are very beautiful songs, but the Velvets are an "acquired taste", so others opinions may be different. The only things that I don't like about the album are the songs that Nico sang. Reed wrote these so that Nico could sing, and then they were spat upon by Nico's crude voice. Despite, I would definitely buy this again if it were lost or stolen.