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on 3 April 2000
Although it has been a while since Lou Reed graced us with a new album, it has definitely been worth the wait. This album is everything for some people and something for everyone. Reed's lyrics once more prove that Mr. Reed is a true American poet. No-one writes like Lou Reed and no-one confuses as well as he does. Ecstacy contains 14 songs - ballads and pure rage, love and drug-filled despair. Listening to the album is truly like going to a movie, or reading a good book. I not only recommend to everyone to buy this album, I also recommend that you buy all of Lou Reeds albums. Not always great, but only the complete work of this man, gives you an insight into what a great writer he is. Enjoy Ecstacy. Enjoy Lou Reed.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 October 2008
This edition of the 1999 album Ecstasy includes a second disc, a live album recorded at a festival in London.

The mid-tempo rocker Paranoia Key of E opens the album, closer to his talking than his singing style, a love song of dreams & nightmares. On the next, Mystic Child, he sings! Impressive guitar work with stylistic shifts, an urgent beat and passionate vocals make it great.

Mad, about domestic strife, has an interesting, jazzy arrangement, whilst the title track, contrary to its title, is a subdued number in slow tempo, giving impressions of New York with some personal reminiscences. Another song in this style is Tatters - poetic lyrics but not much of a tune.

Modern Dance is a ballad, mostly tender but containing highly melodic segments with driving guitars over a lilting beat. As the song progresses, lovely backing vocals join in to make it sublime. The fierce Future Farmers of America blazes like a comet over the hitherto mostly quiet landscape. Once again Lou sings, the guitars roar and the melody is gripping and memorable.

Then comes one of Reed's most delicate and melancholy songs, Turning Time Around. This one is in the league of Perfect Day and Satellite of Love. What a magical composition with its tender tune, stirring lyrics and sensitive delivery! O by the way, it's about how to properly designate love & mentions Harry, family, lust and the heart's hieroglyphic.

Rock Minuet is a tour de force, a sort of short Street Hassle for the late 1990s. Laurie Anderson contributes electric violin on this sordid biographical tale of woe. After that, Baton Rouge is a welcome return to normality even though it deals with marital strife, whilst Rouge is a melancholy one-minute instrumental with Laurie again on electric violin.

Like A Possum is something else - all 18 minutes of it. Perhaps, like the aforementioned Rock Minuet, it's an updated Street Hassle. The guitars groan, wail and whine as Lou sings of the hole in his heart as huge as a truck. The disc concludes with the roaring rocker Big Sky.

The second disc is a semi-acoustic live set where he employs an unusual device on his guitar. The sound tends to the subdued side and the song selection is refreshing, including some delightful obscurities. There's the The Velvet Underground classic I'll Be Your Mirror and early Reed like Perfect Day plus a determinedly grim version of Vicious.

The Kids & Berlin from the album of that title stand out, as do the powerful Dirty Boulevard. Other remarkable performances are New Sensations, The Original Wrapper, Coney Island Baby and a song previously unknown to me, titled Into the Devine. Ecstasy is a five-star album whilst the live one merits four. These two albums are highly recommended for fans of Mr. Louis Reed, debonair New York poet & musician.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 October 2010
By which I mean he won`t release another album as good as this (if he does indeed release anything ever again). It`s a brilliant work of art, at times thrilling; less overtly political than the much-heralded "New York" and less sentimental than "Set The Twilight Reeling" and frankly, less disturbing than "Magic and Loss". It`s the Lou Reed album I return to most of all. It has big rock songs, even sing-along choruses ("Big Sky")! It has acutely observed songs about deteriorating relationships ("Mad", Tatters" and the sublime "Baton Rouge"). It has some social commentary ("Future Farmers of America", "Rock Minuet"). And unlike any other record in history, it has an eighteen-minute epic, with a relentlessly unchanging tempo, the possibly semi-autobiographical eye-opener that is "Like A Possum" (the nearest explanation I can come up for it is the guy from Lou`s fantastic "Street Hassle" has somehow got to his 60th birthday, and this is his story). What I hope this review illustrates is that this is quite probably Lou Reed at his very best. The mixture of songs, styles and emotions is really quite incredible, and I`m sure anyone interested in intelligent music will appreciate this.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 November 2006
Here we go again. Never write Lou Reed off. By now, well into his sixties, he should be slipping into his musical pipe and slippers. However, Reed, on 'Ecstasy', shows no signs of entering his creative dotage, preferring to whack up the guitars and crafting a diverse, captivating collection that doesn't break too much new ground but represents an artist defying the years. Songs such as the title track, 'Rock Minuet' and the moving 'Tatters' are up there with the best of his solo work. Certainly, the dreamer in me likes to visualise how these songs would've sounded with the Velvet Underground, but in Lou's hands, these songs still sound more than fine. Give it a bit of time, and you'll love it. I certainly do...
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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2006
'Ecstasy' is Lou's second fine album in a row following on the heels of 'Set The Twilight Reeling'.
It's a little rawer and more guitar orienated than his previous more recent albums and also has considerably more energy/vitality than his trilogy of highly rated albums 'New York' - 'Magic And Loss' which i believe makes it all the better.
Lyrically he's becoming much more personal in his subject matter (moving away from the social/environmental issues) often relating the frailties of human relationships in his songs.
'Ecstasy' is a rock solid album with a nice mixture of rock and ballads. There is the eighteen minute 'Like A Possum' which is quite unconventional in a way that many Velvet Underground fans will savour. My favourite, however, is 'White Prism' which is rocky with some effective changes of tempo.
This album is another fine effort from Lou.
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on 24 January 2013
I have just played my way through all Lou's studio albums. I was surprised how strong this is. The use of brass gives it a soul undercurrent and Lou's voice and lyrics give it a real emotional edge. It really isn't quite up there with career classics like Berlin, Magic and Loss and New York but its a fine record full of musical ideas and lyrical challenge
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 October 2008
Lou Reed entered the new millennium with Ecstasy. The mid-tempo rocker Paranoia Key of E opens the album, a love song of dreams & nightmares closer to his talking than his singing style. On the next, Mystic Child, he sings! Impressive guitar work with stylistic shifts, an urgent beat and passionate vocals make it a great song.

The song Mad, about domestic strife, has an interesting, jazzy arrangement, whilst the title track, contrary to its title, is a subdued number in slow tempo, giving impressions of New York with some personal reminiscences. Another song in this style is Tatters - poetic lyrics but not much of a tune.

Modern Dance is a ballad, mostly tender but containing highly melodic segments with driving guitars over a lilting beat. As the song progresses, lovely backing vocals join in to make it sublime. The fierce Future Farmers of America blazes like a comet over the hitherto mostly quiet landscape. Once again Lou sings, the guitars roar and the melody is gripping and memorable.

Then comes one of Reed's most delicate and melancholy songs, Turning Time Around. This one is in the league of Perfect Day and Satellite of Love. What a magical composition with its tender tune, stirring lyrics and sensitive delivery! O by the way, it's about how to properly designate love & mentions Harry, family, lust and the heart's hieroglyphic.

Rock Minuet is a tour de force, a sort of short Street Hassle for the late 1990s. Laurie Anderson contributes electric violin on this sordid biographical tale of woe. After that, Baton Rouge is a welcome return to normality even though it deals with marital strife, whilst Rouge is a melancholy one-minute instrumental with Laurie again on electric violin.

The sprawling excursion Like A Possum, all 18 minutes of it, is a feast. Perhaps, like the aforementioned Rock Minuet, it's an updated Street Hassle. The guitars groan, wail and whine as Lou sings of the hole in his heart as huge as a truck. This great Lou Reed album from 2000 concludes with the roaring rocker Big Sky. Ecstasy compares very well with his best albums like Transformer, The Blue Mask and New York.
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More vintage stuff, he still has it. If you liked any of his recent albums you will like this. Well up to the standard of New York and Twilight. And beautiful clean production values.
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on 12 April 2000
Great, just great. 1st few seconds, rumbling bass then a raw cranked 3 chord riff of pure fuzzed up dirty Lou Reed patented guitar and we're off. Paranoia Key Of E, great lyrics, great tight loud sound stripped right down. Next song he's managed to get down to just the 1 chord but its still quintessential Lou genius. The production is immense; it sounds like they are in the room playing live in front of me. No let up in quality all the way in here, Lou picking apart the debris of his personal relationships histories, and holding them up to the light warts and all. The title track is the highpoint, slow and moody great support from Tony Smith on the drums. Like a Possum is 17 minutes of bleak grinding guitar undertow that even Neil Young would baulk at but hey it seems like it's only been going a few minutes when my cd display tells me it's at the 13 minute mark. This is as good as New York and Magic and Loss which is high recommendation indeed. In fact imagine if every song on Set The Twilight reeling had been as good as Riptide. Ecstasy is that album...
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on 27 May 2000
This album is a grown-up rock album which tackles big themes. The music is classic Lou Reed with clear guitars one minute and big heavy guitars the next. 'Baton Rouge' is a song about wasted opportunities and love turning to hate, all in a kind of parallel domestic life Lou Reed never lived. 'Tatters' is a beautiful and soulful song about relationships which builds up to a wonderful ending. The opening track, 'Paranoia Key of E' is a ripping guitar and drums piece with poetic lyrics over the top. Surprisingly, there is no self-pity or false emotion to be found on this album. One of his best.
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