Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Berlin was a work of tremendous ambition that didn't quite live up to its own high standards, and this live recording seems to trade a roughly equal number of new flaws for those of the original album, but this performance sounds like a legitimate attempt by Reed to revisit his past without being shackled to it, and on that level it's a brave and compelling experiment that (often) works.
  2. Berlin as it’s performed here just doesn’t sound harrowing anymore--it simply sounds like a concert where people are enjoying themselves and yelling “Loouuuu!” between songs.
  3. It's a miracle Reed was able to turn one of the most hermetic albums of all time into a communal experience, but Live at St. Ann's was also a one-time-only slight of hand: Berlin will forever be a record best enjoyed alone.
  4. 60
    It's good stuff, but also strangely nostalgic. [Nov 2008, p.117]
  5. Undeniably bold and ahead of its time, it also remains rather easier to admire from a safe distance than to actually like. Or listen to. [Nov 2008, p.121]
  6. 60
    It's great that the music is allowed to live in the moment, but the inevitable live albums are hardly essential purchases. [Dec 2008, p.112]
  7. Where Reed once ham-acted the part of cuckolded savage Jim on the original, he sings here with both detachment and fatherly compassion.
  8. In the end, Berlin: Live is a wonderful closure for a black sheep in Reed's discography as well as a vital document of an artist still infused today with the same spirit that guided his creative golden years. [Year End 2008]
  9. This mature, nuanced performance of Berlin communicates the human tragedy of the story, leaving behind the chilliness of the studio and using the medium of the stage to its full dramatic advantage.
  10. Berlin: Live At St Anne's Warehouse is basically one of the most creepily eloquent records of Lou Reed's career, tarted up in the sort of bombastic style that ironically may see it received better in the classic rockin' days of 1973.
  11. Even though he’s become a much more expressive musician, the updated Berlin is no more powerful or gripping than the original commercial flop. It is, however, much more consumer-friendly.
  12. What got lost in the record’s cacophonic crash was, again, what mattered--the songs--and in Berlin: Live, stripped of Reed and Ezrin’s overproduction, the bleakly radiant song cycle about doomed junkie love is allowed to flourish.
  13. This is about as musically adventurous as Lou ever got and those who think he could only toss off simplistic three-chord tunes are advised to listen closely. Berlin turned out to be a place well worth revisiting.
  14. Mauling the melodious arrangements of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and accompanying orchestral pearls in addition to Steve Hunter, Berlin's original guitarist; Sharon Jones; and diaphanous-voiced Antony, Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse is a hazy descent into the sinuous perils of abuse, deviant sex, rage, and loss.
  15. This 21st century Berlin sounds more muscular and dangerous, but not without a certain delicacy either. [Nov 2008, p.68]
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 26, 2011
    9
    Lou Reed never got to perform Berlin in it's entirety when he first released it in the 70's. By 2007 public opinion had changed and Lou staged this performance of his dark, sad opus. This is a worthy companion to the original album, even though he's aged the songs still have the same intensity. Full Review »