Musically, Loaded fits right in with the band's contemporaries, while retaining Reed's particular tendencies for tender vocals and contrasted raggedness. Opening track "Who Loves the Sun" is not a far stretch from "Candy Says", in mood, even if the track has a larger chorus that bends more towards the kind of harmonies that The Beatles were championing since Rubber Soul. However, the mid-tempo beat really helps push the album forward into its sequential hits: "Sweet Jane" and "Rock & Roll".
"Sweet Jane" opens up with Reed in a talk-song, which chugs along, hints of what's to come with the first title chorus. As the track moves along, Reed becomes increasingly animated and Doug Yule joins in on supporting the chorus. By the time of the song's final bridge, the infectiousness of Reed and Yule's yell-singing encourages singing along with some fine fat synth accents. "Rock & Roll" is the kind of straightforward rock tune that is enhanced by Reed's talk-song vocals and great accents, like when he double emphasizes "fine" in falsetto before leading into an energetic guitar solo, with a more tempered contrasting solo.
Much of the rest of the album is this kind of fine rock and roll with a few shifts towards more contemplative or melancholy, especially when Yule takes over vocal duties on tracks like the opener, "Who Loves the Sun", "New Age" and "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'". The one exception for Yule leads is the fast charging folk rock meets boogie woogie of "Lonesome Cowboy Bill", which boasts some country-style guitarwork.
Not unlike their third album, Loaded, doesn't quite hit the same highs as their more experimental initial works, but nevertheless remains a fine rock album, packed to the brim with highly enjoyable rock songs. And that easily makes it worth listening to, especially for fans of mainstream classic rock. 8/10.
- Who Loves the Sun
- Sweet Jane
- Rock & Roll
- Cool It Down
- New Age
- Head Held High
- Lonesome Cowboy Bill
- I Found a Reason
- Train Round the Bend
- Oh! Sweet Nuthin'
- Doug Yule, organ, piano, bass, drums, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals, lyrics, song composition
- Sterling Morrison, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, song composition
- Lou Reed, rhythm guitar, piano, vocals, lyrics, song composition
- Moe Tucker, drums
- Producers: Geoffrey Haslam, Shel Kagan, The Velvet Underground
- At Daum, Discogs, maniadb, MusicBrainz, Naver, Wikipedia (en)
- Available at Amazon (CD) / (Instant) and iTunes
Group: The Velvet Underground