What do you buy when you buy Lou Reed, and do you still need to buy him? It's now almost a decade since he described over four albums with the Velvet Underground, a perennial cycle—perversity to desperation to (illusory) redemption to the salve of hothouse pop—that most fail to complete during a lifetime. Is it fair for us to expect any more from him, and for him to expect us to buy this, his product?
A qualified yes. In his chosen career, Reed can hope to make money and satisfy his art more than grow old gracefully. "The Bells" correspondingly features a representation of familiar Reed themes, in a more consistent form than of late, with a decisive twist in the title track….
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