Charles Douglas' deadpan vocals and back-to-basics rock & roll sound owe an unmistakable debt to the music of Lou Reed -- a debt which this debut solo album fully embraces by recruiting Velvet Underground alumna Moe Tucker as drummer and producer. Granted, The Lives of Charles Douglas might be little more than a knock-off in the grand scheme of things, but it's a damn sight better than anything Reed himself has done since New York a decade earlier -- not only is Tucker's inimitable drumming a treat in any context, but Douglas is a sharp, witty writer with a flair for affably self-deprecating lyrics and crisp melodies. It's no Berlin, of course, but it's no Set the Twilight Reeling either, and that's got to count for something.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny