Sound — 8
The Velvet Underground certainly had a unique sound. The Velvet Underground and Nico starts out with a pop song called Sunday Morning. The song is calming and has a dream-like quality that is a good introduction for the album. It then kicks up the tempo with I'm Waiting for the Man, with a driving beat. Throughout the album they use a viola, an interesting instrument to include in rock music. They also experimented extensively and really opened up doors that had never been opened before. The guitar solos certainly work with the genre. They are quite experimental and sometimes almost jarring, but creative and daring at the same time.
Lyrics — 7
Lou Reed wrote lyrics that were years ahead of their time, including some controversial topics, even a few that are still controversial today. The music always goes along with the music, capturing the mood and emphasizing the meaning of the lyrics. Lou Reed's vocals are average, I'd say. Not bad, not good. And Nico's are certainly different. Very low for a woman, her voice can take some getting used to, but it fits well with the music.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is often considered the most influential album of all time. It was famously said of this album that although not many people bought it when it was released, every person who did was inspired to start their own band. Their sound was revolutionary, creative, different, and avante-garde. This album was the main predecessor for punk, alternative, and many other genres that came in the '70s and later. The best song on this album is Heroin, in my opinion at least. The best part about this song is that instead of glorifying drug use, as is usually the case, it shows it from a more realistic perspective, where the user isn't happy about what he is doing and feels despair. Some of the other best songs are I'm Waiting For The Man, Venus In Furs, and The Black Angel's Death Song. But all of them are pretty good. If you want to really understand and appreciate music, I strongly suggest you become acquainted with The Velvet Underground. It's definitely worth buying!