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Magic and loss

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 28.41 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Lou Reed album Aug. 11 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I love this CD. It's so amazing. I can listen to it over and over. My favorite songs are Magician, Sword of Damocles and Magic & Loss.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Doesn't Lou Do More of This? April 10 2003
By PhiloX
Format:Audio CD
Always knowing the background of Lou Reed; the Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, Glitter Rock, Dave Bowie, one of the 1st songs on the radio about sex transformations...Lou Reed was never my style (Progressive Rock, Classical, Jazz, etc...) until this fantastic, personal, profound description of losing 2 friends to cancer in the age of modern medicine. The Loss is a reference to the 2 friends, the Magic is the up & downs of taking pills & sitting through machines that try to take away the illnesses. Lou Reed writes & sings all over the map from straight rock, to folk, to ballads with such emotion & wisdom that it will bring tears to your eyes. If your like me, then don't rush out & buy other Lou Reed CD's like "New York", you will be disappointed. Lou, forget the songs about drug deals, gangsters, & sex changes...your a genius with Magic & Loss. Give us more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High on loss, low on magic Sept. 22 2002
By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
On this album Reed investigates mortality, loss, guilt, rage and resignation. Each song has a subtitle and a mystical symbol, tracking the issue in full circle and attempting to cover all aspects and relevant emotions of the chosen theme. The best tracks, because their melodies make them stand out, include Sword of Damocles (Externally) with its flash of humor ("That mix of morphine and dexedrine/We use it on the street"), Cremation (Ashes to Ashes), the strange, funny and sad Harry's Circumcision (Reverie Gone Astray) and the powerful rocker What's Good. As on his New York album, the instrumentation is sparse with only guitars, bass, percussion and drums. It is a moving and literate piece of work, but ironically lacks some of the magic found on most of his best albums. Perhaps because he chose a rigid framework, the overall impression is one of sameness and lack of variation. Still, it is by no means a uniformly bleak album, and at least lyrically, there is plenty of material that ranks among his best work. The sound is reminiscent of the New York album, but unlike that album which is his least personal work, this one focuses on the loss of specific friends and his reaction to death, making it highly personal and intimate in its exploration of universal themes. A good album, but not a Reed album that I listen to very often. My real rating is three and a half stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Contemplating both sides June 30 2002
By Jinkyu
Format:Audio CD
In both his Velvet Underground and solo days, Lou Reed has explored dark themes: sex, S&M, drugs, mind trips, and the rough street life. His art has been about experiencing these things, not so much social commentary. One dark theme has not been that much of a preoccupation. In Magic and Loss, Lou switches gears and looks at life's experiences contemplatively, but focuses heavily on its end--death. This was inspired by the recent deaths by cancer of two friends and apparently also the AIDS epidemic.
The majority of songs are mellow, with soft, sweet guitar riffs, allowing us to focus on Lou's very strong lyrics. There are also five strong rockers: the opener (effectively), "What's Good"; the acoustic "Sword of Damocles"; "Warrior King"; "Gassed and Stoked"; and "Power and Glory Part II." The first two are marked by crisp, pretty definition in the rhythm guitars, smooth strokes, in contrast to the guitars in the others, which have the edge, and a bit of the fuzziness and distortion, often seen in Lou's work. "What's Good" and "Warrior King," the CD's most potent tune, are the two best songs. The softer, mostly slower songs are good too. My only problem is that there are too many of them: six of seven between the opener and "Warrior King."
There is a positive spin to Magic and Loss, witness the album title and the concluding title cut: "There's a bit of magic in everything and then some loss to even things out." Lou sees things both ways, focusing heavily on hardship and death, but also dignity.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Death Becomes Lou Dec 8 2001
Format:Audio CD
Lou Reed has always been better at tackling deep subjects, such as drug abuse and sexual depravity, than lighter ones. On "Magic and Loss," he tackles his deepest subject yet, death by cancer. Two of Reed's friends succomed to the disease, and this album is his tribute to them. It is a difficult album to listen to, but one that is worth the effort. The second track "What's Good," is the catchiest and probably most well-known number. From there, many of the songs feature Reed's trademark talk-singing. The lyrics are often quite poetic, with references to things like "The Sword of Damocles," and the "Power and Glory," two of the other song titles. It also includes strange stuff, like "Harry's Circumcision," about a guy who tries to alter his appearance with a straight razor.
Overall, I would recommend this album most strongly to Reed fans, since it is perhaps a bit too ecclectic for most casual listeners.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The work of a lifetime! April 1 2001
Format:Audio CD
Nothing sounds or feels like this dark masterpiece. The sheer majesty of the song cycle, all about the deaths of 2 people who were in Lou's Life, is remarkable.
Even though the subject matter is very dark, one feels Lou coming through the pain, as if reborn and filled with acceptance of the deaths he had faced.
From the opening chords of "Dorita" thru to "Power & Glory", and "Power & Glory Part 2", this is a very powerful and authentic piece of work.
Highly recommended!
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Genius Or Depressing Mess - Take Your Pick
Magic And Loss is either Lou Reed's best or worst album depending on your taste ,but I can't listen to it. I owned it on cassette, and I'm not exactly sure where it is now. Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2002 by JOHN SPOKUS
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!!
Lou recorded this gem after recording two previous ones; NEW YORK and SONGS for DRELLA. Lou has written an epic grieving process after witnessing the death of two of his close... Read more
Published on March 27 2001 by ROBERT M. STJOHN
5.0 out of 5 stars If Ingmar Bergman had been a rock star.
I was on a Lou Reed kick in high school (when this album came out) which has since worn off. His last three albums (and the VU reunion) had me shaking my head in embarrassment,... Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2001 by MrCleft
4.0 out of 5 stars the thesis: a solid lou reed album
Never have been a big Lou Reed fan, he was always just so-so in my mind. I came across Magic and Loss while on a Jimmy Scott fix (he does the background vocals for track 3). Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2000 by "persistence_is_all"
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
Always regret discovering this gem too late to see the concerts. His biographer stated this was an album that people dutifully kept in their racks but seldom listen to. Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2000 by Gary
3.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of �Loss,� but Little �Magic�
Like David Bowie, Lou Reed is a visionary and a pioneer. He doesn't work within any particular style; quite the contrary, he creates "styles. Read more
Published on Aug. 29 2000 by dev1
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic and Loss -- through the valley of the shadow
This is one of two albums that I bought because of a magazine article. I've always been a Lou Reed fan, but in 1992, I discovered what was to become one of my favorite albums of... Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2000 by Julie C. Horne
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