Lou Reed Tom Carson - Essay

Tom Carson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Near the beginning of this brilliant new album [Street Hassle], Lou Reed sings: "It's been a long time since I've spoken to you." The line has a resonance far beyond its literal meaning. In the years following the breakup of the Velvet Underground, Reed's bizarre and half-baked semistardom became a travesty of his art, as one of the most magical raw nerves of our time coarsened into a crude, death-trip clown.

Whereas Reed with the Velvets had once broken our hearts with a compelling vision of sin and redemption, he now broke them by turning his post-Underground LPs into floating freak shows. While much of Reed's solo work was far from bad, one has to remember that his admirers expected him to...

(The entire section is 724 words.)