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Album Review

After three successive accomplished and mature albums, Lou Reed made an attempt to stay current with the stilted Mistrial. Six of the songs are driven by drum machines, which certainly gives the music a robotic feel. However, Reed doesn't help the situation any by turning in a set of songs that are stripped back to their bare rhythms, lacking memorable hooks and melodies. All of these spartan arrangements are designed to attract attention to the lyrics, which aren't among his finest efforts. Reed is in a social protest mode, particularly attacking violence, in both its domestic and global incarnations. Instead of personalizing the material, he relies on platitudes, which tend to make the processed chords and beats of the music even more grating. Nevertheless, he ends the album with two ballads that showcase many of his finer musical and lyrical skills.


Born: March 02, 1942 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The career of Lou Reed defied capsule summarization. Like David Bowie (whom Reed directly inspired in many ways), he made over his image many times, mutating from theatrical glam rocker to strung-out junkie to avant-garde noiseman to straight rock & roller to your average guy. Few would deny Reed's immense importance and considerable achievements. As has often been written, he expanded the vocabulary of rock & roll lyrics into the previously forbidden territory of kinky sex, drug use (and abuse),...
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