Album Review: "The Velvet Underground & Nico" by The Velvet Underground & Nico

Imagine if you got two distinct but not very good albums and spliced them together. The result might actually sound better, or at least more interesting, than the sum of their parts.

This is effectively what happened in 1967, when a band, led by a bisexual, Jewish rock n' roll wannabe, got together with an ex-model and former rape victim, whose cold, Aryan singing style was eerily evocative of the Holocaust.

There is a kind of relief-that-it's-over factor that works, with the end of each song boosting appreciation of the start of the next one, as the album alternates between Nico's icy, atonal chanteuse singing and Lou Reed's coked-up, shambling but still amateurish and noodly rock guitar.

The effect of this is that one's disgust or irritation is always kept off balance, and is unable to properly coagulate, eventually tricking us into half-thinking that we actually like the damn album. 

That trick, if nothing else, qualifies this work as a work of near genius, with most of the credit due to Andy Warhol who served as matchmaker for this unholy alliance.

The Revenge of Riff Raff
27th of August, 2013

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