That's right, Sweet Lou wrote about 'Ye's latest for The Talkhouse, a terrific new website launched by author/music journalist Michael Azerrad and some associates, which features artists reviewing the latest releases of the day.
We'd already visited the site once and caught the Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn tackling Primal Scream's More Light (he was disappointed) and Luna/Galaxie 500's Dean Wareham heaping praise on Daft Punk's Random Access Memory. Strangely enough, both of those fine gents have been frequently compared to Reed during their careers.
Kanye, however, not so much, but Lou and 'Ye do share some common ground. West is known for "Jesus Walks" and his new album, Yeezus, features a song called "Black Skinhead"; while Reed is best-known for "Walk on the Wild Side" and recorded a song titled "Jesus" with The Velvet Underground on the band's 1969 self-titled black album. Kanye is known to much of the public for his relationship with socialite Kim Kardashian, while Reed wrote "Femme Fatale" about socialite Edie Sedgwick, and is now romantically linked with performance artist Laurie Anderson. Both 'Ye and Lou have been known to have an often contentious relationship with the press and have at times challenged their audiences after finding commercial success.
Reed mentions that concept in his review of Yeezus. "And now, with this album, it's 'Now that you like me, I'm going to make you unlike me.' It's a dare. It's braggadocio. Axl Rose has done that too, lots of people have. 'I Am a God' — I mean, with a song title like that, he's just begging people to attack him," he writes.
He adds that by starting the album with a "typical synth buzzsaw sound…all gussied up and processed," West is daring his fans to like the album. But then he backpedals a bit, saying that wasn't his intention with his own notorious Metal Machine Music, and he doubts that Kanye is trying to do that with Yeezus.
The bottom line is that Reed mostly loves Yeezus, although he does offer some criticism. "There are moments of supreme beauty and greatness on this record, and then some of it is the same old s--t," he writes. "Many lyrics seem like the same old b.s.," Reed adds. "Maybe because he made up so much of it at the last minute. But it's the energy behind it, the aggression."
Reed is also a big fan of West's use of melody. "At so many points in this album, the music breaks into this melody, and it's glorious — I mean, glorious."
In the end, Reed concludes, "If you like sound, listen to what he's giving you. Majestic and inspiring."
Sounds as if Lou is no longer waiting for his man. He's found him and his name is Kanye West.
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- Lou Reed
- Sweet Lou