Angel Corpus Christi

Louie Louie

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Avant-garde chanteuse Angel Corpus Christi releases a dozen songs by, for and about Lou Reed on this clever Gulcher Records release disguised inside a low-key mock or mimic of Reed's Transformer l.p. cover. Two of the songs were previously released on earlier ACC albums - "The Day John Kennedy Died" showing up on her The 80s and I Love New York discs while "Rock & Roll Heart" was originally released on Wake Up And Cry. The only difference is that they are re- mastered on this album at The Plant Studios in Sausalito by John Cuniberti. Though producer Dave Nelson cut most of the album, the "Femme Fatale" here was tracked by Pete Kember, also known as Sonic Boom (formerly of Spaceman 3 ), giving the world a third ACC rendition of "Femme Fatale", Angel having recorded the classic from 1967's The Velvet Underground & Nico twice previously. The two other alternate versions are on her I Love New York and Accordion Pop albums, though all three would have fit on this forty eight minute and forty-one second respectful declaration of adoration. Lou's very eerie "Disco Mystic" from 1979's The Bells disc, originally a mostly instrumental dirge with only the title as lyrics and a very un-Lou vocal performance, is re-defined as a rap here where Angel generates her own lyrics and declines her idol's alleged in-person come-on's. It fits into an amusing thread with her original composition,"Lou Reed's Hair", accordion rendition of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" (samples from The Kingsmen version conspicuous in their absence) and a bizarre combination of Reed's "I Want To Boogie With You" alongside Serge Gainsbourg's sexual oddity "Je T'aime". As far as tributes to The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed go, ACC indulges the songwriter's late 70s and mid-80s catalog impersonating 1973's "Caroline Says II" from the Berlin phase, 1975/6's "She's My Best Friend from the overdue and underrated Coney Island Baby, the Rock & Roll Heart album's "Banging On My Drum" from 1976, "I Want To Boogie With You" from 1979's The Bells, "The Day John Kennedy Died" from 1982's The Blue Mask up to this shimmering rendition of "Tell It To Your Heart" from 1986's Mistrial. Though not part of Lou Reed's core magnificence, "Tell It To Your Heart" finds alternate definition as Angel breathes new relevance into it, which is what a great cover album is supposed to do. What's the point in mailing out xerox or carbon copies of what came before? The instrumental versions of "I'm Set Free" and "Femme Fatale", the latter featuring Luna 2's Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, have a lot in common with the approach to "The Day John Kennedy Died" - except when Angel sings "somehow comprehend/someone shot him in the face" it hits harder than Lou's original - juxtaposed as it is alongside the light-rock background. "I Want To Boogie With You" in a bizarre mix with Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime" is like an out-take from John Waters' Hairspray, some 60's girlgroup B side that Paul & Paula never got to record. Probably would've been a big hit for that one-hit-wonder duo back in the day and a shame they weren't resurrected to join this party but since at least one of them has joined the Conservative Christian movement, well, perhaps such things are better left as they are.

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