"Berlin" is an unflinching look inti the darkest corners of the human soul/psyche. Over stunning orchestration and stellar production (by Bob Ezrin, who is for some reason more famous for producing "The Wall" than "Berlin") Lou Reed, the voice of cool neutrality, submits for our approval (or rejection, i somehow think it's all the same to Lou, and that our feelings and opinions matter not) the starkly delineated tale of two expatriate speedfreaks living in Berlin, and how they torture each other in a spiritually bankrupt vacuum of tympanis and violins, ghost choruses of sick angels and science-fiction doowop, and how the torture of ownership as love and s/m junkiedom leads inexorably to death. In this case her suicide is of course a literal death, but as the male half of this diseased equation wraps himself in the bloody sheets of her deathbed and declares himself good because "somebody else would have broken both of her arms", then we are left with the sound of the death of a spirit, the wasting of a soul, a sad song indeed.
For your listening pleasure?
The "Citizen Kane" of rock and roll. It's that simple.