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Mistrial

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 92.45
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 1 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bmg/RCA Records Label
  • ASIN: B00000739T
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #225,146 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

1986 album unavailable in the U.S. featuring the tracks 'No Money Down' & 'Mama's Got A Lover'. 10 tracks in all. BMG.

Customer Reviews

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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 31 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is certainly not a great Lou Reed album, and one that was harshly dismissed by the critics. But it's not totally dismal either: Video Violence sounds a bit preachy, but Mama's Got A Lover ("I'll send him a card on Father's Day") is Lou at his witty, biting best, while I Remember You is a beautiful tender love song with a simple, lovely melody. The Original Wrapper contains some humorous wordplay, and Tell It To Your Heart is a great song about relationships. Mistrial is an album only for the devoted Lou Reed fan and definitely worth it for the aforementioned songs.
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 22 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is certainly not a great Lou Reed album, and one rightly dismissed by the critics. But it's not totally dismal either: Video Violence sounds a bit preachy, but Mama's Got A Lover ("I'll send him a card on Father's Day") is Lou at his biting best, while I Remember You is a beautiful tender love song. The Original Wrapper contains some humorous wordplay, and Tell It To Your Heart is a great song about relationships. Mistrial is an album only for the die-hard Lou Reed fan.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa410c030) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa3e5c60c) out of 5 stars mixed bag--often feels tossed off, but is also often a blast March 16 2005
By Missing Person - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lou Reed's 1986 album "Mistrial" tends to be considered a dud in his discography. Although that's being harsh, it's understandable in the sense that "Mistrial" does often sound tossed off, plus some of the lyrics are really weak--it seems Lou was either going through a bit of writer's block, and/ or feeling a little lazy. It's unfortunate because Reed's in excellent form vocally here, and the best stuff suggests that with some more craft & fine-tuning, this could have been a really kickass record. As it is, there are a bunch of really cool tracks--there's the stomping rocker title track; the catchy, drum-machine driven, somewhat Chuck Berry-esque uptempo tune "No Money Down"; the toe-tapping, looping funk-rocker "Video Violence" with its hilarious wordless hook; the punchy, edgy rocker "Spit It Out" with great, crunchy guitar chords from Reed (though his ultra-primitive & hesistant lead work leaves quite a bit to be desired); and the irresistibly funky & energetic rap-flavored tune "The Original Wrapper" which is a bit lyrically rote, but amusing. On the down side, "Don't Hurt A Woman" is a sluggish, tedious ballad; the repetitive "Outside" is kind of bland; "I Remember You" is an incredibly listless piece of filler with lyrics that are slight beyond all belief; & "Tell It To Your Heart" is, surprisingly for Reed, a pretty sappy ballad that's additionally marred by the annoying background vocals. Obviously "Mistrial" is no masterpiece, but still, it is pretty good, and I can't see any serious Reed fanatic finding this album to be THAT big of a disappointment, & if you see it cheap, it's worth getting.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4227b40) out of 5 stars ARTLESS Art Feb. 27 2005
By Timothy P. Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This isn't Lou's best record. Obviously. Lots of folks call it his worst. Well, that's their business, I guess. Personally, I think it's a damn good record.

First, let's examine it from a musical standpoint. The only live instruments here are guitar and bass. There's a metronomic drum machine to deal with, but it's a distraction at most. The bass pins things down nicely and the lead guitar sears through the songs like a knife through butter. Sharp and clear.

Second, let's look at the way Lou was probably thinking about this record: lyrically, it's more focused than New Sensations, and musically, well, we're already done.

THIS IS AN ARTLESS ALBUM.

Seriously. When Lou hits his solo on "Video Violence," it's raw and dirty and nasty as it should be. The drum programming (!) on "No Money Down" merits the same respect, as do the mild moments that mark "Don't Hurt a Woman."

Don't get me wrong, there's lots to care about here: from the news (Video Violence) to the condemnation of the art scene (Mama's Got A Lover), this record rocks. It examines the impact of these things on society, in Reed's deadpan (and biting) tone.

If anything, this should be looked at as a precursor to "New York." "Mistrial" marks Reed's first real incursion into topical songwriting ("Video Violence," "The Original Wrapper") and should be treated as such. A valuable artifact.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa44152b8) out of 5 stars Good music does not age Nov. 6 2002
By H. Neill Jameson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sure this album has it's very cheesy moments musically (with the programmed drums and offkey backup singing) but underneath the 80's radio rock aestetic is a very solid album of pure emotionally driven rock. Certainly not up to par with Mr Reed's other work, but in what I consider his weakest decade (The Blue Mask is the only work from the 1980's I really feel is essential)this is still a very strong album.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa40fa1bc) out of 5 stars Oh, fiddlesticks Oct. 17 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Several MISTRIAL reviews don't speak well of this Lou Reed album. I don't get it - infectious tunes such as "Original Wrapper," "No Money Down," and "Mama's Got A Lover" make this a worthy purchase. Don't know why there's a drum machine and I don't care. Lou Reed's rockin' with wit and wisdom! Declare the bad reviews a mistrial and give MISTRIAL a chance.
HASH(0xb60fb284) out of 5 stars A mid 80's pop music experiment, complete with drum machines. Feb. 4 2016
By M. Salmestrelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Reed's greatest run of solo work in my view was The Blue Mask, Legendary Hearts, New Sensations, Instead of some uneven efforts with bright moments, and concept albums interrupting the flow of his work, these are three great albums that you could listen to back to back to back. The 3 stars for Mistrial is more a reflection of how far of a departure it is from those three albums I love and what follows Mistrial which is another classic New York.

Mistrial, I feel is Reed's attempt to find a different sound, perhaps to go with the times. This came out in 1986 with acts like Robert Palmer, INXS Falco, Power Station all using music styles which have become painfully dated. Reed veers into that on this release more than a little and it doesn't work.

That's not to say the songs are all bad. Reed's songwriting talents are there, the delivery system just doesn't work and I think Reed was well aware of this. He never employed this type of production again, definitely not on New York and not the 90's when the 80's sound was officially old. "No Money Down" "The Original Wrapper" "Tell It To Your Heart" are more dated than anything by Reed on the three previous records. "Spit It Out" sounds like it could be a Huey Lewis and the News cover, "Don't Hurt A Woman" sounds like a 80's ballad, which it is but it's definitely set in its own time in a music sense.

"Video Violence", and the title track are my favorites on the album. "I Remember You" , "Mama's Got A New Lover" would be added to this too had the backing vocals been less prominent. That's something elese Huey Lewis and News would have done.

It's definitely a low point during a very good period in Reed's solo career. Not a place to start.


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