Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. This is the kind of beautiful album that Reed knows he can make in his sleep yet seldom does.
  2. "Ecstasy" finds 58-year-old rock poet Lou Reed characteristically fixing his gaze on messier thoughts and murkier emotions -- and doing so more artfully than at any time since his 1989 masterpiece, "New York."
  3. 80
    In twelve brutally honest and dark tracks, Reed revisits the best elements of his early work...
  4. Understandably, Reed's old fascination with sadomasochistic transcendence puts off those who don't swing that way at least a little. But the music on this record, its gorgeous part, could change that.
  5. Reed has lost neither his lyrical bite nor his sonic perfectionism.
  6. The main criticism of this record is that a few tracks are merely good, as opposed to epochal.
    Though Ecstasy is gruesome, fearsome and rife with realism much in the same way as his heart-stopping shocker, Berlin (1973), Reed has a compelling way with words, and a magic touch with psycho-delic guitar riffs that dare us to follow him down the back alleys to his darkest thoughts.
  8. Puncture
    Hardly surprising to find some dross here, I suppose, since the whole thing clocks in at 77 minutes, 26 seconds. For those willing to make their own "best of" tape, through, Ecsatsy has a lot to offer. [#46, p.33]
  9. While Ecstasy is essentially a concept album about the fantasies and realities of love and family, it includes as much sex, drugs, and rock n' roll culture as any of Reed's earlier work.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. MarkW.
    Aug 17, 2001
    Underrated, classic.
  2. brent
    Feb 28, 2006
    This would've been a 10 but it is bloated (like this review). The brilliance of Lou Reed is he coulda stripped it down to 6 songs and This would've been a 10 but it is bloated (like this review). The brilliance of Lou Reed is he coulda stripped it down to 6 songs and pulled it off. It's a reward to the faithful, and he'll do it again someday. How often does it come, fans? Coney Island Baby? Street Hassle? Blue Mask? Berlin? New York? Who else would follow decades blindly adoring some records, liking a little of some records, not ever playing some (London, Raven) except Lou fans? Ecstasy is the awesome sonic marriage of his writing and words, his reckless musical ear, his passion, and his guitar playing. Baton Rouge is staggering in verse and strum. Rock Minuet is crafted so terrifying in shit guitar and homicidal prose. Possum rules. It's 18 minutes of dirge and filth that owes nothing to anybody. Turning Time Around is the honest, gripping love song we've been waiting for since "Think It Over." Big Sky ends with 5 minutes of crotch-satisfying feedback between he and Mike Rathke that soars and soars and makes Billy Corgan's/Pumpkins experiments like "Drown" seem like amateur hour. What do you do at retirement age? You've out-punked punk (VU, Street Hassle), out-gothed goth (Bells, Berlin), you've out heavy-metaled them all (r'n'r animal, MMM), and now you just want that clean mainline to the heart....hmmm...release a staggering amount of original material on one album that will keep the critics dumbfounded and perplexed and tongue-tied? An aging cult artist whose only love seems to be craft and creativity and guitar music?Hats off to you brother. This is your Citizen Kane. That you never gave the world another rocknroll animal or walk on the wild side or new york makes me admire you more. Full Review »
  3. JamesL.
    Jun 28, 2002
    As usual, Lou seems inspired on about half the cuts while the rest seems to be filler.