Lou Reed – Animal Serenade

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Album Review by EDF

When is Lou Reed not Lou Reed? It is when he is doing something that divides most of his fans and that is being pretentious. Just hear me out for a mo, okay. I’ve always thought that Mr Reed was a bit of an odd ball but I could also see why people would call him a genius as well. He seems to be one of those artists that you could tell which side of the bed he got up from.

This live album was recorded during his 2003 world tour and takes in his Los Angeles’ The Wiltern Theatre gig. Where? Was the gig that good that it was appropriate to record a document of the tour? We’ll never know but going by this recording, I’m glad that this is one tour that I missed. There is nothing here to encourage me to go to a Lou Reed concert. Is it because the crowd sound too well behaved? Is it the, at times, minimalist approach to the songs, even with a full backing band? Or is it that I nearly fell asleep listening to his ten minute Edgar Allen Poe homage, THE RAVEN? It is all of the above and more.

When you get a live album from someone as potentially electrifying as Lou Reed, you expect to see sparks flying out of your hi-fi system. Instead you can see the cobwebs forming and that is not a good sign at all. It’s as if Lou Reed had decided to put on his smoking jacket and slippers. Or is it that he wants his audience to be of less rock and more settled down than before? The other annoying thing is the way US fans seem to clap at every unexciting thing that happens. You can let your imagination wildly run away coming up with what might be exciting. Overall it sounds like someone is bored with his own music and it painfully comes across this album.

1 star