Oldie of the Week: ‘Sick of You’ – Lou Reed (1989)


If you’re getting a bit worn with work or exams out this week, and feel like the world’s going to hell in a handbasket, then join Lou Reed for a romp with biting cynicism! ‘Sick of You’ is Lou Reed in his element. He’s not faffing about with musical complexity – John Mellencamp said of the album (‘New York’) as a whole that it sounds like it was produced by an 8th grader – rather, Lou foregrounds the wit of his lyrics, and that resentful New Yorker drawl. The effect is aggressive, but also hilarious – Lou dissects American politics, himself a set in stone liberal, but abandoning all the niceties of the liberal consensus. It’s full of too many polemical one-liners to count, so do yourself a favour and listen to the whole thing:

‘I was up in the morning with the TV blarin’
brush my teeth sittin’ watchin’ the news
All the beaches were closed the ocean was a Red Sea
but there was no one there to part it in two
There was no fresh salad because there’s hypos in the cabbage
Staten Island disappeared at noon
And they say the midwest is in great distress
and NASA blew up the moon
The ozone layer has no ozone anymore
and you’re gonna leave me for the guy next door
I’m Sick of You’.

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