Lou's best live album, remastered from the original tapes and featuring two previously unreleased performances of Caroline Says and How Do You Think It Feels !
Recorded live in 1973, Rock N Roll Animal
is Reed's glam-rock sneer back at his Velvet Underground
legacy. Four tracks are VU classics (two about the redemptive power of rock, two about the transformative power of dope) dressed up into slick, flashy twin-guitar noodle-fests, with big riffs and showboating solos and Reed practically phoning in his vocals. It was something of a hit at the time, and it's easy to hear how the simple forcefulness of these songs sounded good on early-1970s radio. But Reed doesn't bother to conceal his contempt for the commercial trappings he's put on his songs--"Heroin," in particular, turns from savage ambivalence into an easy cartoon--and the album's hard to like now. Two previously unissued tracks from 1973's Berlin
-"How Do You Think It Feels" and "Caroline Says I"-flesh out this reissue version of the original LP. --Douglas Wolk