New Sensations (Lou Reed – Artist Of The Year Part 16)

Opening with “I Love You Suzanne” the album New Sansations is one of Lou Reed’s more underrated offerings. A very upbeat number sets the tone for what is probably one of the most uncharacteristic albums in Lou Reed’s catalog. “I Love You Suzanne” is one of my favorite Lou Reed songs because it is so very different from most of his works, sort of like an homage to the songs he listened to growing up at the birth of rock and roll. But that’s not the only song like it on New Sensations.

And the music video for “I Love You Suzanne” was not his first, but it was the first one with a concept, a plot, one where he does more than simply stand there and lip sync. It was his 3rd music video if I remember correctly, with the previous two from the Legendary Hearts album had Lou Reed walking around with various images in the background singing. This one was a proper music video. I wonder who portrayed Suzanne. She looks familiar.

 

Then there is “the title track which includes a line about being happily married. The more I listen to these 80s albums by Lou Reed the more I want to read a biography of his because I want to know what was going on in his life that made him create such an upbeat album, as well as what happened to have him divorce for a second time a few years later.

“What Becomes A Legend Most” sounds so different from what Lou Reed has done it sounds like a cover.

This album features a very standard “two guitars, bass and drums” sound that Lou Reed had been working with but seemed to embrace almost wholeheartedly a few albums ago. There are still stories here, little slices of life, and some are not always happy. Instead Lou Reed seems to have hit on a formula that works for him, a template to re-use, one that enables him to branch out and use horns if the song requires it, or simply be stripped down and be the most basic of songs if that is what the song requires.

“High In The City”

New Sensations is one of the overlooked Lou Reed albums in my opinion, probably because it doesn’t do anything groundbreaking as with his earlier work, and the sound is “standard” rock instrumentation and arrangements with many upbeat songs. It is for those exact reasons, however, that I think New Sensations should be one of the first Lou Reed albums you purchase is looking to get into the artist.

 

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