.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/c9d9edc1de335a3291aef325829907fd6f7f00ae.jpg Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse

Lou Reed

Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse

Matador
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
October 2, 2008

Upon the 1973 release of Berlin, a Rolling Stone critic deemed the record "patently offensive." Thirty years later, Lou Reed's concept album about speed freaks on a downward spiral of infidelity, spousal abuse, parental neglect and death ranked 344 on this magazine's 500 all-time-greatest-albums list. Reed has always fed upon this kind of irony, and in 2006 he staged a concert adaptation of his rock musical in Brooklyn. (Painter-filmmaker Julian Schnabel shot the performances.) Where Reed once ham-acted the part of cuckolded savage Jim on the original, he sings here with both detachment and fatherly compassion. While ballads such as "The Bed" grow eerily placid, the Kurt Weill-like class commentary of "Men of Good Fortune" gains severity: Guitarist Steve Hunter embodies privilege with flashy heroics, and Reed represents unskilled labor via blunt six-string bursts. An encore duet with Antony on the Velvet Underground's "Candy Says" adds a sweet aftertaste to Berlin's bitterness. But the explicit gay sex and slaughter of 2000's "Rock Minuet" emphasize that Reed hasn't exactly gone soft.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Stillness Is the Move”

    Dirty Projectors | 2009

    A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com