Another, less interesting view
finulanu | Here, there, and everywhere | 07/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After VU justly became one of the group's most beloved albums, Verve took another scoop into the vaults. But it was clear they had exhausted all the best material on VU, so here we're left with an admirably planned, but gratuitously executed collection of scraps. The psychedelic-Arabic blend "Hey Mr. Rain" (presented in two different versions - the second is slightly weaker, with heavy guitar blasts that break the mood) is a fine song, featuring one of John Cale's most eerie viola performances; "We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together" is a lightweight but fun burst of rock energy; and the vocal-free demo of "Guess I'm Falling in Love" at least has a good guitar track. But in other cases they dig too deep. I mean, does the world really need instrumental demos of "I'm Gonna Move Right In" or "Ride Into the Sun"? The reason why "Guess I'm Falling in Love" works, even as an instrumental demo, is because it looks to be the start of a good song. "Move Right In" and "Ride Into the Sun," on the other hand, look to be the start of mediocre songs. "Ferryboat Bill" is one of the group's most annoying songs, and "Coney Island Steeplechase" is only slightly better. And the alternate version of "Rock and Roll" is kind of boring - stick to the original, which absolutely rules. Unlike VU, this is inessential, but it does have great cover art and a few good songs."
The Last Batch of "Lost" Tracks are Found
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 04/16/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The album is the second of two releases of previously unreleased tracks with John Cale and from the "lost album," which is material done for MGM Records, but placed in a vault to gather dust when VU was released from its recording contract.
The trio of Cale songs are Hey Mr. Rain (versions one and two) and the instrumental version of Guess I'm Falling in Love. The standout number is Coney Island Steeplechase.
This is not the place to start for those wishing to hear what made VU an iconic group. It is a means to hear the band at work in the studio, which is interesting, but may not be appreciated by those seeking "completed" tracks that were fully prepared for release."
Cool, I guess
Bill Frist | I am omnipresent | 08/18/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As much as I love The Velvet Underground, and I do love them, I could never really get into the whole cult of undiscovered recordings. People have a fetishistic attachment to the kind of thing "Another View" purportedly offers, but I've never understood it. Admittedly, I really liked "VU" and "Live At Max's Kansas City", and let me say for the record that "VU and Nico" is my favorite album of all time, and I would go so far as to say that "White Light White Heat" is a close second...but "Another View"? I could go either way.
As for the particulars, here goes: first there's "We're Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together". It's pretty good, has that late VU bouncy vibe. Could very well be a "Lonesome Cowboy Bill" b-side. Then there's "I'm Gonna Move Right In", the first of three (!) instrumental tracks. Why three? Who knows. "Ride Into the Sun" is certainly the most inexplicable of the three, sounding more like a full-formed (if uninspired) Stones song that they forgot to record the vocals to. "Guess I'm Falling In Love", the last of the three, is more typical of early-VU (Consulting the liner notes, I see it was recorded in '67, the earliest of any AV track) and recalls "Sister Ray" in its pummeling overdrive. Truth be told, it could very well be an earlier, curtailed recording of "Ray" wherein John Cale's keyboard was unplugged.
As for the non-instrumental tracks...well, its a bit of a hodge-podge. The two versions of "Hey Mr. Rain" are understandable, if a bit needless. Both were recorded in '68 and recall early VU, inasmuch as they both feature a viola. "Coney Island Steeplechase" is an interesting inclusion, insofar as it more reasoundingly echoes The Strokes than any other VU song I can remember. Much to my chagrin, "Ferryboat Bill" did not so much recall "Lonesome Cowboy Bill" as it did...i dunno, The Doors? The vocals and composition on Bill also have a distinctly post-VU Lou Reed flare, for what that's worth. Finally there's an early recording of "Rock and Roll", which I liked far less than the "Loaded" version. It's one of those great simple songs that, if you break it down to its constituent particles, sometimes doesn't sound so great.
The interesting thing here, of course, is the fact that any review of this album is completely moot. You'll either never hear about it and never purchase it, or you'll buy it out of an obligatory devotion to the band and cherish it no matter the quality of the music. If you're borderline, however, as I am, I'd check out "VU" or "Live at Max's Kansas City" first."