Lou Reed's Hudson River Wind Meditations is built for quiet contemplation. For more than an hour, Reed, a longtime practitioner of tai chi and meditation, creates smooth and soothing sine waves that recall the gentle lolling of the fabled New York waterway. There are sounds on here that also recall the expanding harmony and ringing of Tibetan meditation bowls. The hipsters will probably laugh it off as a sign of Reed's old age, but this record has everything in common with LaMonte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music, which was a major influence on the Velvet Underground. Instead of the confrontational repetition the Velvets were renowned for, however, this is an inviting sort of repetition. It invites you to explore your own soul, which, as Jung noted, is often the most confrontational experience. What's most striking is that, while the album is considered a meditation on a body of water, deeper listens reveal creaks and groans which echo the inner workings of N.Y.C. Perhaps if the people of New York would shut up for once, this is what their home would sound like.
Incidentally, Lou Reed likes to tell people to shut up too.