Sound — 10
The Velvet Underground was probably one of the most radical bands of the '60s. They were the first advant-garde band on the scene, so of course anything by them is completely unique. I own their first 3 CDs (The Velvet Underground and Nico, White Light/White Heat, The Velvet Underground), and I think this one is the best. The raw power and energy of the band is phenomenal, as is everything on the record. 'The Gift" is mind-shattering to hear, and "Hear She Comes Now" Is like ice cream covered in napalm sprinkles. "Sister Ray", ofcourse, is just a noisy and freaky as the other songs, though 17-minutes provides much more stimulation. The sound is amazing!
Lyrics — 10
As Lou Reed often does, the album relies heavily on sex and drugs, but all the more suiting for the album. The noisy music and nonconforming (and sexually abandon) lyrics complete the music. I couldn't imagine hearing "Sister Ray" with the lyrics to Stairway or something more poetic. The overall explicit lyrics make the LP so much greater. Thus it's no surprise that Lou Reed and John Cale's voices are the perfect vehicle for the lyrics. Lou sings on "white Light/White Heat" "Hear She Comes Now" "I Heard Her Call My Name" and "Sister Ray." His voice is great, as it always was with the Velvets. As for John Cale's voice, he is very supplicate and sober. Not as emotional as Lou is (Often more pretty and ornate than him), but it doesn't take away from the record.
Overall Impression — 10
The album is very disheveled, but so very canorous at the same time. It is the Best Velvet Underground album if you've already been acquainted with the band's sound. As for new listeners, the album would probably be to in-your-face to be liked at first; But once you hear their other works, this becomes their Sgt. Pepper, their optimum record. Although short, it stands for itself. All the songs are great, and the record grows on you from when you first hear it, to when you first put it down. If it got lost, I'd buy it again. The record is worth buying. It's marvelous!