Beautiful all the way
André Ming | Europe | 01/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An album that has been overviewed by many and didn't even receive a remastered edition on CD in the US, ''Coney Island Baby'' is doubtless one of the most pleasant Reed albums for fans or even casual listeners, in pair with some of his hyped releases, even if it's not groundbreaking and probably can't be put among his all-times' top5 records. The collection is full of sweet love songs, devotional ballads in which Reed celebrates the natural joy he was experiencing at that time, plus some unavoidable songs about drugs and the results are touching. The opener, ''Crazy Feeling'', is a simple, highly enjoyable composition that makes everybody smile and want to dance when no one's watching. The title track is one of Reed's classics, with top lyrics, cool spoken-sung verses and an exuberant second half where Reed celebrates the glory of love. ''Charley's Girl'', the smoothy ''Kicks'' and the nice but unnecessary re-recording of VU's classic ''She's My Best friend'' are equally enjoyable, and the album as a whole is a very nice, sweet experience. You won't want to skip any track."
Sound quality better than 2006 CD in parts
James E. Anderson | Australia | 10/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although the 2006 Legacy release with its great bonus cuts is essential, this also meets a need in terms of sound. The Legacy CD in general pushes the lead vocal forward in the mix to take advantage of the greater dynamic range of CD compared to vinyl. This is sometimes a big advantage compared to this version where the lead vocal often sounds too trebly and recessed (eg Charlie's Girl). But .....
while the Legacy edition has a punchier overall sound it ironically has less dynamic nuance with crescendos that build less subtly and therefore less dramatically.
"Kicks" is a good example of the sonic differences with this cd having a far superior version - as well as less subtle dynamics the Legacy version also lacks enormous amounts of sonic information in the upper frequencies and bass. There is deep ominous sounding bass guitar running all through "Kicks" but in the Legacy edition it's pretty much absent.
In general on this CD the bass guitar sounds natural and nuanced whereas on most of the Legacy release it lacks in upper frequenies so sounds extremely lo fi.
So overall this CD retains much of the subtleties of the original vinyl release and bass guitar sounds remain intact. (Plus it looks like a mini vinyl LP, the really cool part being that the playing surface is black too!)"
Very human Lou
Pieter | Johannesburg | 07/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably Reed's most atypical solo album and at first sounds lightweight and subdued, laking the great moments, drama and exciting highlights of his best work. Hard to appreciate immediately, repeated listens reveal Coney Island Baby's lyrical depth and melodic beauty. My favorites include the love song She's My Best Friend, the streetwise Charley's Girl and the sensitive narrative of the title track. Not his greatest album, but valuable as a showcase of Reed's human side in its warmth and simplicity."