Photograph titled "Woman Is Having Minor Adjustments Made to Her Auto's Carburetor" by Lyntha Eiler, 1975
I think Lou Reed's Coney Island Baby is "canonized" enough that I can get away with a bullet-point review:
1. I was super-excited to find a cheap copy of this album in the "used" bin (and it's the version with the Doug Yule bonus tracks), but I was still hesitant to buy it. Mostly because I knew that I would have to have an awkward exchange with the cashier about the "new Lou Reed album" Lulu, which was playing over the PA. "Uh, yeah - I'm not interested in that. But thanks."
2. This album is more or less what I expected, based on its reputation as Reed's somewhat stripped-down and lyrical return to pop after Metal Machine Music, but it has some interesting surprises, too. The version of "She's My Best Friend", for instance, is quite a bit different from the Velvet Underground version I'm used to. Also, "Kicks" has some literal surprises in it, namely where the ambient conversational background noise in the song suddenly becomes very loud a couple times, replicating the disorienting drug trip the song describes.
3. There aren't any real dud tracks on this album - I even took to the title track immediately, which I wasn't expecting. The straightforward pop tracks like "Ooohhh Baby" and "Charley's Girl" are favorites, although I also really like the breezy trifles like "A Gift" and "Crazy Feeling". It seems odd to me that it's considered a minor album compared to some of his other '70s releases - this might be end up being my favorite Lou Reed album from that period.
"A Gift" by Lou Reed