The Album Club choice for May 2020 comes courtesy of Garry (Gazjam) with Lou Reed's New York. As always, please listen to the Album in its entirety before you comment and vote.

Lou Reed – New York

Released in 1989. Proof, if any was ever needed, that Lou Reed was never just the Velvet Underground and “Walk on the Wild Side” guy, this Album was important in its time, and sadly, 31 years after its release it’s message still rings true today.

Reed could make music that shakes you awake, makes you look around you and think to yourself, (and to paraphrase David Byrne…) “How the fuck did we get here?” And that’s this Album.

Running at nearly an hour, it’s a raging 14 track exploration of his home city of New York, a collage of individual musical short stories linked by all that’s wrong with his America. Like episodes of a TV series, each track explores a different facet of the American “Dream” and human condition given the New York (and further afield America) he found himself in at that time.

A guitar based Rock album, which wants you to turn the wick up and let it pin you to the back wall. As Lou Reed himself said: “You can't beat 2 guitars, bass, and drums”. This album is a testament to that.

Sharp intellectual storytelling and prescient themes wrapped up in a ballsy piece of literate Rock 'n Roll.
Gang violence, diversity, Aids and discrimination, Growing up in poverty, the cycle of child abuse, corporate greed, climate change, fatherhood, keeping sane in the madness, infidelity, treatment of Veterans, TV evangelists, and so much more…

It’ll make you think, AND make you laugh out loud - parts of it are so funny.

The lyrics conjuring up images of people and situations (you may remember them from the time and even recognise some of them in the news right now…) that’ll give you the grins. (For those playing along at home, listen to Track 9 “Sick of You” and see who you can spot.)

This Album is a rich treat for the ears and the mind, a collection of musical short stories about Lou Reed’s beloved (but failing) America.
Lou Reed's songwriting and lyrics in this album are superb, stunning even as good as anything else I've heard or better. Dip into what it says and see if you don’t think about how things are in America right now.

This Albums a work of Genius.

Over and out.