Monday, December 20, 2004

On the Verge of Clarity

A reviewer at the London News Review seems to be on the edge of understanding Advancement:

The great thing about Lou Reed is that just when you think he's written a terrible song you realise he hasn't. I have recently become obsessed by 'How Do You Speak To An Angel?' It is a mini-operatta of wonderfulness. And as scary a song as ever a song could be. (If you talk to the "prettiest girl" as Lou suggests she would run screaming for the nearest policeman, and rightly).

I mention this purely because I have, at some point, to write a review of Marillion's latest album - Marbles - and I have to wind up to it. When you have to say bad things about a wonderful band I find it useful to listen to Lou. One of the greatest musical artists of the last 63 years, and yet he can always jolt you with terribleness. Every time I hear Coney Island Baby I want to commit bloody murder. The man can dip. So, when you are jolted by terribleness, it is always good to come back to Lou, and I have been jolted by terribleness by Marbles. But it's not all terrible - it is very specifically terrible. More soon, when I can pluck up the courage to talk about Marillion in less than glowing tones.
I say he's on the edge because of the first line, "just when you think he's written a terrible song you realise he hasn't." The reviewer seems poised to understand that Lou Reed doesn't make terrible songs. They might seem terrible, but they're not. I can almost gurantee that if the reviewer were to sit down with "Coney Island Baby" with an open mind, he would like it.

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