Review: ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ by The Velvet Underground and Nico

Peel slowly and see.

These four words can be found on the original vinyl copies of The Velvet Underground & Nico, intended to instruct the listener to slowly remove the banana peel sticker on the cover to reveal the soft fruit underneath. It also, as it would turn out, somewhat predicted the reception of the album itself, which was initially met with an uninspiring and bewildered response due to its shrill experimental instrumentation and lurid subject matter.

However, following the critical acclaim of the band’s self-titled third album and the general commercial success of front man Lou Reed’s solo career, music critics began to reevaluate The Velvet Underground’s debut record (and, to a lesser extent, their sophomore album White Light/White Heat) and retroactively hailed it as a masterpiece. Fifty years later, The Velvet Underground & Nico remains both a turning point in rock music history and a profoundly insightful account of ‘60s drug culture.

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JUPITER ASCENDING Is Beautiful Garbage

Jupiter Ascending hit somewhat of a rocky road in the time leading up to its release. Originally scheduled to be released on July 25, 2014, it was pushed back a week to July 18, 2014, and later, February 6, 2015, supposedly to allow time for completion of several special effects shots. It becomes clear when watching Jupiter Ascending that special care was put into meticulously crafting its gorgeous, creative, and detailed aesthetic, as is standard practice for Hollywood auteurs Andy and Lana Wachowski. Unfortunately, it appears that the usual visual ambition of the visionaries behind The Matrix is once again matched with their usual lack of ambition when it comes to Jupiter Ascending’s clichéd and overstuffed screenplay.

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