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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I'll Take Manhattan In A Garbage Bag'
Seventeen years on from his most acclaimed work-'Transformer' and Lou Reed turns his attention to the sleazier side of his hometown to find inspiration for his fifteenth solo studio album.
He writes in his liner notes that 'New York' should be taken in one sitting as if it were a film or play and after listening it's not difficult to see why.From beginning to end you...
Published on 15 Jun 2006 by nm1270

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15 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Game of Two Halves
If it were not possible to turn a record off after you'd started listening to it, this record would be worth two stars. Had only the first eight songs been included, it would be worth five.
New York starts out so effervescently, it's impossible to credit how badly it loses its way. Lou Reed's overall approach is fantastic - get a bunch of guys in a room, flip the...
Published on 3 Jan 2003 by Olly Buxton


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I'll Take Manhattan In A Garbage Bag', 15 Jun 2006
By 
nm1270 (Tonypandy,Mid Glamorgan, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
Seventeen years on from his most acclaimed work-'Transformer' and Lou Reed turns his attention to the sleazier side of his hometown to find inspiration for his fifteenth solo studio album.
He writes in his liner notes that 'New York' should be taken in one sitting as if it were a film or play and after listening it's not difficult to see why.From beginning to end you are taken on a musical tour through the drug fuelled,crime ridden and destitute streets of the Big Apples' less attractive suburbs.
The album kicks off with Reed's '1-2-3-4' counting in the opening bars of 'Romeo Had Juliet' with it's dark,twisted lyrics-'Caught between the twisted stars,the plotted lines,the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York'.The musical pace slows down with 'Halloween Parade (AIDS)' and then leads into arguably the finest song on the album-the perverse yet mesmeric 'Dirty Blvd'.With it's dirty guitar riff and hollow snare drum it's a tale of Pedro,a young kid with nine siblings who live in a squalid squat and are beaten by their father.Dion Dimucci appears on backing vocals.
The reality of child abuse continues on 'Endless Cycle' despite the georgeous musicianship.'There Is No Time' rocks along vibrantly while the subdued 'Last Great American Whale' is poignant in it's subject-the destruction of our natural environment and fellow creatures.Lou also vents his spleen and attacks TV evangelists('Good Evening Mr Waldheim'),politicians('Strawman')and the treatment of Vietnam veterans as in 'Xmas In February'-'Sam stares at the Vietnam wall,it's been a while now that he's home,his wife and kid have left,he's unemployed,he's a reminder of the war that wasn't won'.
Genius a much overused word but it comes close to describing the lyrics on this album.The music is also exceptional here as Lou surrounds himself with guitarist Mike Rathke and the rythym section of Rob Wasserman and Fred Maher who give the album a tight and raw garage feel.Ex Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker plays on the Andy Warhol tribute-'Dime Store Mystery'.
'New York' is widely regarded as Lou Reed's masterpiece.On it's release he said 'this is as good as I get'.Artists regularly say this but more than two decades have passed since it's release many of us would find it difficult to disagree with Lou's statement.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reed's best yet, 5 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
The whole idea of Lou Reed's art is captured in this snippet of the liner notes regarding this album: "It's meant to be listened to in one 58 minute (14 songs!) sitting as though it were a book or a movie." There is exactly one reason Reed has only had one hit in his 35-year career: He's an artist. His albums contain blissfully funny rock-songs, yes, but there's also the kind of Nicole Blackmannish deadly seriousness in some of their lyrics, that makes you forever unable to not listen to them once you've started. Reed's self-appointed mission is to elevate rock music to an art form in the league of literature and painting, and "New York" is the closest he's gotten yet. Going against the liner notes, if there's only one song you hear from this album it should be Beginning of A Great Adventure, which is the best treatment of becoming a father I've ever heard. But, honestly, once you've got the album (and you should get it if you have any interest in rock becoming more than simple entertainment) you ought to do as Lou says and listen to it all. It's well worth it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An audio movie...., 16 Nov 2002
This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
Lou Reed closed out the 80's with his best album in a long time, not only is it art but it is street art.

When I say that I mean the tales of "New York" that Mr Reed has woven about the life on the mean streets of one of the world's capitals come across as so real as to create the smells and sounds of what he is singing about.

The delivery that Mr Reed can't really be called singing, it's more like talking in pitch. The wordplay that is used to great effect here is like a modern day "Mickey Spillane" or "Raymond Chandler" novel. As always Lou has a swipe at the America society with humour and intelligence that is his trade mark.

This album is both well produced and played and will be around a long time for people who like their music with a sting in the tale, so do your self a favour and buy it and buy it NOW...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GRAPHIC NOVEL, 22 Sep 2010
By 
Matthew Graham (South East England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
The genre of LP as graphic novel is superbly realised in this recording. The songs are poignant and colourful. The portrait of New York at a moment in time is crystal clear - ugly, beautiful, bolshy, aggressive. But for me the best thing on hearing it all again after a leave of absence, is the superb playing and the disarmingly unfussy recording. Just some guys with guitars paying their fingers off. Hugely recommended to anyone who ever visited New York, enjoyed a Lou Reed song or played a guitar. So nearly everyone.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reed's most "literary" album, 17 Dec 2002
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
This collection of 14 sketches represents one of the most powerful song cycles of Reed's career. On New York he deals with the wider world rather than personal concerns for a change, and in the enchanting core of New York City, he found enough to comment upon, like crime on "Romeo Had Juliette," the terrible impact of AIDS in "Halloween Parade," the tragedy and psychology of child abuse in the poignant "Endless Cycle," the plight of the homeless on "Xmas in February" and wrong priorities on the powerful rocker "Strawman, " where he actually sings with open throttle unlike most of the other tracks where he employs his talking-style delivery. Older themes are revisited too: "Dime Store Mystery" is a moving elegy to his former patron Andy Warhol. Not all the tracks are memorable though - "American Whale" and "Mr Waldheim" for example, are not up to the greatness of the rest of the album. In addition, due to the lack of any other but the basic rock instruments, the sound is not as varied as on some of his other classic albums. Neither is this Reed's most melodic work. However, the lyrics make up for that - in beautiful lines like "Caught between the twisted stars the plotted lines the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York", the poetry is full of sharp and lean images, driven by Rathke's guitar, Wasserman's bass and Maher's drums. This album is a beacon of literate, intelligent rock and amongst the top 5 of Reed's career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The (Angry) Urban Poet, 1 Mar 2013
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
This 1989 masterpiece from Brooklyn's finest is (certainly for 1989) something of a blast from the past, representing as it does one of the most virulent 'protest albums' I can recall hearing (though perhaps not surprising, given that it came at the end of two presidential terms of Ronald 'cupcake' Reagan). And, I guess, as they say, protest and disaffection often provoke great levels of creativity - as is evidenced by New York, whose consistent levels of musical and (particularly) lyrical dexterity make this album just possibly my favourite ever solo work by Reed.

New York really represents something of a 'back to basics' approach for Reed as the album's sound reverts to a predominantly small band (and quite sparse) sound, with Rob Wasserman's electric upright bass and album co-producer Fred Maher on drums lending a generally (though not exclusively) light touch. The band's overall sound therefore gives Reed's guitar plenty of room for a number of nicely judged solos and his (and Mike Rathke's) guitar(s) consistently impress. Strangely enough, the album's generally light sound adds a nice touch of dark irony for what is one of Reed's most angry set of songs. There is a pervading theme of despair with the broken state of urban New York, as Reed laments in the face of (perhaps ironically) promiscuous lifestyles (Halloween Parade), lack of concern for the environment (The Last Great American Whale), religion (Busload Of Faith), Vietnam (the sublime Xmas In February) and just about everything else (in the hilariously light Sick Of You and the rocking Hold On).

There is another brilliant example of 'light irony' on (for me) one of the album's highlights, Endless Cycle, with its apparently hopeless plea against family histories of addictions to drugs, drink and violence. Similarly, both Dirty Boulevard (with its reference - one of a number - to the 'statue of bigotry') and the call to action that is There Is No Time ('this is no time for my country right or wrong remember what that brought') are both intoxicatingly vibrant. Good Evening Mr Waldheim, on the other hand, is a brilliantly inventive gem with a compelling rhythm and hook, in which Reed targets all and sundry, from the Austrian president (at the time of New York's recording) and (alleged) Nazi sympathiser, Kurt Waldheim, through to Jessie Jackson, outspoken Islamist Louis Farrakhan and the Pope ('can anyone shake your hand or is it just that you like uniforms and someone kissing your hand'). And, finally, to the album's other real rocker, the superb Strawman, on which Reed's guitar again excels (in feeling rather than technique per se) and his lyrical targets include wasteful affluence (movies, movie stars, $60K limos, space rockets/shuttles, skyscrapers), corrupt politicians, racist preachers and TV evangelists (in particular, Jimmy Swaggart).

Simply a must-have album, and one that, as Reed's sleeve notes suggest, should be listened to in its entirety in order to be able to fully absorb the album's message.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars But don't you think Paphides is a terrible writer? Glibly unfunny, 1 July 2014
This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
But don't you think Paphides is a terrible writer? Glibly unfunny, with little discernible taste. A Peter Robinson-style scenester with a fnotepad full of zeitgeisty neologisms, but nowt in the way of corpuscles. (Taught 'Ology)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lou shows his his social and environmental side, 7 Aug 2006
By 
Jervis - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
New York represents the moment Lou Reed successfully honed his songwriting craft to deliver arguably his most consistent album.

It had been nearly three years since his previous album Mistrial and his albums in the proceeding years had been receiving an increasingly lukewarm response (despite some good songs). Those albums in retrospect seem like a preliminary draft for New York as the themes and style are occasionally similar but without the focus.

Lou's writing style had developed a more socially aware/journalistic flavour in more recent years and with New York Lou put it to very good effect. Almost all the songs are of note as they are nearly all equally strong. Lou tends to paint quite a dark picture of the goings on in his favourite city (naturally) including homelessness, the aids crisis and environmental issues.

New York is a mature rock album which is quite accessible to a larger audience - you really don't have to be a Lou Reed fan to appreciate it.

However it doesn't cut nearly so deeply as some of Lou's earlier highly regarded albums and there are times when i feel Lou's vocals seem a little too dry and inflexible.

It's a fine album all the same.
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5.0 out of 5 stars NEW YORK POET, 7 Mar 2014
By 
HAYLING BOOK & MUSIC VENUE (HBMV) "Hayling Is... (26 Rails Lane Hayling Island) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
This album was a real return to form for Lou.

It is very strong on narrative - he has a host of stories to tell about life in New York, often focussing on the underbelly of society.

Reed proves what we all knew - that he is a poet - his words and prose resonate and the accompaniment, whilst often sparse, is well measured.

I have found myself playing this on a regular basis - it is quite a compulsive listen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lou Reeds album,"New York, 3 Dec 2013
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This review is from: New York (Audio CD)
Hi amazoneans started following lou reed as a 70s rocker,the guy was not only brilliant,he was thirty years ahead of his time!(may he rock in peace).This folks is one of the best dammed albums you will ever listen to,no matter what your taste.bumper.
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