Perfect Night — Live in London
At this mature stage of his career, Lou Reed has long settled into his status as a marginal, yet still committed artist who works like an aging craftsman with the tools he’s been given. Unfortunately, too often he fails to connect with anyone outside of his dwindling cadre of devotees — not that that matters to him. So this document of an “on” night last summer in London still won’t light any fires outside of that fan club. Some will be curious to hear his revamped arrangements of such nuggets as “I’ll Be Your Mirror,” “Vicious,” “Perfect Day,” and “Coney Island Baby,” but they’re just not as compelling as the originals. His voice long ago slipped into that melody-shy talk/shout; his session band is competent and forceful, but colorless and generic; and more importantly, the old songs lack the resonance they once had with their time period. When Reed does try to connect with currency, he fails miserably, attempting hip-hop on “Original Wrapper” and lecturing ineffectually on “Sex with Your Parents.” For true fans only.