Yesterday the world lost a Rock ‘n Roll great in Lou Reed. We dearly miss you already.
In honor of him I’d like to post a snippet of a review he gave on The Talkhouse of Kanye West’s most recent album Yeezus. The entire review is incredible and can be found here. It is NSFW, but I’m sure if you’re reading this you’re mature enough to handle some ‘bad’ words.
Here is a snippet of the review:
Many lyrics seem like the same old b.s. Maybe because he made up so much of it at the last minute. But it’s the energy behind it, the aggression. Usually the Kanye lyrics I like are funny, and he’s very funny here. Although he thinks that getting head from nuns and eating Asian pussy with sweet and sour sauce is funny, and it might be, to a 14-year-old — but it has nothing to do with me. Then there’s the obligatory endless blowjobs and menages-a-trois.
But it’s just ridiculous that people are getting upset about “Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign”? C’mon, he’s just having fun. That’s no more serious than if he said he’s going to drop a bomb on the Vatican. How can you take that seriously?
And then he’ll come out with an amazing line like “We could have been somebody.” He’s paraphrasing that famous Marlon Brando line from On the Waterfront, “I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. It was you, Charlie.” Or he says “I’d rather be a dick than a swallower” — but then he does a whole chorus with Frank Ocean. What he says and what he does are often two different things.
“Hold My Liquor” is just heartbreaking, and particularly coming from where it’s coming from — listen to that incredibly poignant hook from a tough guy like Chief Keef, wow. At first, West says “I can hold my liquor” and then he says “I can’t hold my liquor.” This is classic — classic manic-depressive, going back and forth. Or as the great Delmore Schwartz said, “Being a manic depressive is like having brown hair.”
“I’m great, I’m terrible, I’m great, I’m terrible.” That’s all over this record. And then that synthesized guitar solo on the last minute and a half of that song, he just lets it run, and it’s devastating, absolutely majestic.
Reed does a stupendous job on relaying his understanding of West to us, and with West being a polarizing (and hard to understand) figure it is helpful. I like Kanye West, but it took a magnificent artist, like Lou Reed, to help us proles understand another magnificent artist like Kanye West.
We will miss you, Lou Reed.
- Lou Reed (jobblog2011.wordpress.com)
- 20 Great Lou Reed Moments (stereogum.com)
- Lou Reed is reported Dead (oldmanlesliesblog.wordpress.com)
- Lou Reed put the underground front and center (latimes.com)