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  Listen Up! 12/30/02 Listen Up!

Monday, Dec. 30

Lou Reed, “Transformer,” RCA Records. I dumped so hard on Lou Reed’s latest album the other day, I had to take a listen to one of the classics to get my head straight about this guy. Not that that is ever really possible. He’s one of the most complex personalities to ever make a career in the music biz. Pretentious and straight-forward, vulgar and refined, he’s got facets all right. “Transformer” has been remastered, beautifully I might add, and the requisite bonus cuts have been added. This was his collaboration with David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and it’s full of masterful rock songs like “Vicious,” gorgeous oddities like “Satellite of Love,” and “Perfect Day,” and, of course, the ubiquitous “Walk on the Wild Side.” Great record.

Tim Easton, “Break Your Mother’s Heart,” New West Records. This is the kind of record I’m predisposed to like, full of earnest singing, liquid guitar chords, swirling organ, and the rock-solid drumming of Jim Keltner holding it all together. I just wish the songs were more effective. These could grow on me – Lord knows there were songs on the last album by Easton that I warmed to after I heard them a few times – but I’m not sure if it will get the chance. Nothing jumps out as immediately strong enough to make me want to hear it again.

Interpol, “Turn on the Bright Lights,” Matador Records. Yeah, turn on the bright lights so we can see the Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen records that are being spun underneath the stage these guys are standing on. No, that’s not fair, because these are pale imitations of the much better late 70s, early 80s inspirations.

--Steve Pick
   

 

 

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