Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lou Reed - New Sensations

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of New Sensations, the thirteenth solo album from the late Lou Reed. The 1984 release went to number 92 in the UK and spent thirty-two weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 56.

Side one opens with "I Love You, Suzanne", a single which charted at number 78 in the UK. The song has a rockabilly beat to it that harkens back to the early days of rock and roll.

The mid-tempo rocker "Endlessly Jealous" is next.

"My Red Joystick", which is hinted at by the album's cover, is a song about a messy divorce. In it, Reed is willing to give up all of the positions yet he wants to keep his manhood, symbolically represented by the title item, intact.

"Turn to Me" features a catchy guitar riff.

The title track "New Sensations" closes out the first half.

Side two begins with "Doin' the Things That We Want To", a laid back number about letting people live as they want without interfering.

Reed shines an honest light on his fame as an aging rocker on "What Becomes a Legend Most".

"Fly Into the Sun" is an up-beat song about facing death bravely.

The bouncy beat but ultimately sad "My Friend George" is next.

"High in the City" is about wandering around New York City, taking it all in and experiencing it. I like the Caribbean musical elements it includes.

"Down at the Arcade" reminds me of my time hanging out playing video games on campus in 1984. Its lyrics include shout-outs to games like Defender. It makes me wonder if Reed was into the games himself; it would be cool if he was.

I had to dig around on the Internet to hear New Sensations to do this review. Thanks to the people over on YouTube for sharing these songs. Again, this was a first time exposure to one of Lou Reed's 80's albums, and I found it to be an enjoyable listening experience. It is one I would certainly revisit again in the future.

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