Most edifying...

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Reed, Lou : The Raven

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Reed, Lou : The Raven

Lou Reed

The Raven

(REPRISE)

Godfather of sleaze unveils Edgar Allan Poe: The Musical. Bowie smooches by

Find the current New York scene lightweight? Then how about a two-hour audio play inspired by Poe, courtesy of the city’s grand vizier of artsleaze, Lou Reed? Amazingly, ‘The Raven’ is even more fun than it sounds on paper. Of course it’s pretentious, but the blend of reading-group rock, goth showtunes and gold standard hamming from Willem Dafoe and Steve Buscemi is surprisingly compelling after a while.

Reed, too, seems to be actually enjoying himself, traipsing through his own archives as well as Poe’s. So old mate Bowie turns up, the cataclysmic noise of ‘Metal Machine Music’ is revisited on ‘Fire Music’ and, best of all, performance artist Anthony turns ‘Perfect Day’ into a camp, spectral torch song. Most edifying.

John Mulvey