Rolling Stone - p.754 stars out of 5
-- "'Men of Good Fortune' gains severity: Guitarist Steve Hunter embodies privilege with flashy heroics, and Reed represents unskilled labor via blunt six-string bursts."
The Wire - p.68
"His vocal now sanded to a rough edged spoken growl, it is Reed's guitar that is the dominant sound here, an unashamed, animalistic electric rock howl that he turns on (and up) at every opportunity."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1123 stars out of 5
-- "Reed's delivery carries a sort of weathered tenderness and the closing 'Sad Song' seems more genuinely redemptive now."
Composer: Lou Reed.
Lyricist: Lou Reed.
Personnel: Lou Reed (vocals, guitar); Fernando Saunders (vocals, guitar, synthesizer, bass guitar); Rupert Christie (vocals, keyboards); Thunder Smith , Tony Smith (vocals, drums, percussion); Sharon Jones , Antony (vocals); Steve Hunter (guitar); Eyvind Kang, David Gold (viola); Jane Scarpantoni (cello); Paul Shapiro (flute, saxophone); Doug Wieselman (clarinet, bass clarinet); Steven Bernstein (trumpet, flugelhorn); Curtis Fowlkes (trombone); Rob Wasserman (bass instrument); Patrice Kugler, Kaitlyn Rubin, Bianca Kenworthy, Amanda Turner, Leovina Charles, Megan Schoenberg, Kyle Weekes, Hannah Rivera, Christina SantaMaria, Zachary Kruskal, Lindsey Graham, Jessica Benson-Weiss (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Lou Reed; Matt Brown; John Mark Harris.
Liner Note Author: Lou Reed.
Recording information: St. Ann's Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY (12/15/2006/12/16/2006).
Author: Julian Schnabel.
Photographers: Amy Beth McNeely; Robert Leslie.
Though it was dismissed as morbid and self-indulgent upon its initial 1973 release, critics and audiences alike have come to view Lou Reed's unquestionably grandiose concept album, BERLIN, as one of the high points of his solo career. The album's narrative arc traces the trajectory of a doomed, defiantly self-destructive romance in the modern German city, and pits dark,cabaret influenced orchestration against Reed's deadpan vocals to remarkably chilling effect. The album's bleak, incisive lyrics and unapologetically melodramatic atmosphere would prove influential in the years to come.
Matador's BERLIN: LIVE AT ST. ANN'S documents an exceptional 2006 performance of BERLIN that saw Reed accompanied by a seven-piece orchestra, a sterling rhythm section, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Standouts include a jaw-dropping rendition of "The Kids" and an encore performance of the Velvet Underground standard "Candy Says," which is itself suffused with a subdued, world-weary atmosphere that complements BERLIN'S dark emotional palette.