Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Lou Reed: Ecstasy [Warner Bros., 2000]
Despite a few bloopers, including a love-equals-time metaphor he worked out for a Robert Wilson thingy, this is the album we hoped he'd make the first time we heard The Blue Mask--one of them, anyway. Disillusioned yet again to discover that the object of his affections is almost as fucked up as he is, Reed returns to the scene of his Oedipus complex while Roto-rooting the internal contradictions of enduring romance from every angle he can think of. But there's more regret than rage, and no sense of finality, as if he's been through too much to stay mean. And note that his relationships endure, including the one with Mike Rathke, Fernando Saunders, and Tony Smith, now the longest-running band of his roving career. With Lou's guitar firmly at the helm, they impart something like tragic beauty not just to intended soul-shakers like "Ecstasy" and the 18-minute "Possum," but to the existentialist joke "The Modern Dance" and the cheater's diatribe "Mad"--which I call the most original song on the record even if Reed prefers the one about the white slave and the black master. A