New York musician and painter Joseph Arthur has been a Lou Reed fan for the longest time. When the Velvet Underground leader passed away on October 27, 2013, many musicians paid him tribute by covering his songs. Arthur decided to record a full album of Lou Reed songs. I bought a vinyl copy at one of his Montreal shows last year*.

By the choice of the songs Joseph Arthur decided to cover, Lou Reed fans will appreciate the depth of his appreciation of the man’s work. The magnificent Sword of Damocles and Magic & Loss (from the brilliant album “Magic and Loss” of 1992), Wild Child (from Lou’s eponymous first solo album of 1972), Men of Good Fortune (from the infamous “Berlin” of 1973) or NYC Man (from “Set the Twilight Reeling” of 1996) highlight gems that aren’t as known as Walk on the Wild Side, Satellite of Love, Pale Blue Eyes or Heroin, which Arthur also revisits in an acoustic set-up.


Arthur really owns Reed’s material when he takes his own angle on Dirty Boulevard, which was a dirty  and energetic rock song in 1989’s epic “New York” album, that suddenly becomes an acoustic song, not losing any of its edge. Coney Island Baby may be a bit too cheesy as a soft acoustic guitar song when he whispers “I wanna play football for the coach”… Under Arthur’s new light and acoustic approach, songs like Wild Child makes Reed fans appreciate the maestro’s lyrics and melodies.

Joseph Arthur fans will appreciate “Lou” as much as Lou Reed fans. It is a must. The album was released on May 13, 2014 and was performed, recorded and produced by Joseph Arthur in his home studio.

*By the way, Arthur is back in Montreal at the Petit Campus on December 2nd. Infos here.


(Vanguard Records, 2014)

-Genre: folk
-In the same mindset as ida, Sharon van Etten

Listen or buy the album on iTunes
Follow the artist via his Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.