Here is What the Legendary Lou Reed Thinks of Kanye West’s “Yeezus”

Everyone’s got an opinion on Kanye West‘s new album Yeezus. One opinion that we never thought we’d hear is Lou Reed’s, but here we are. The legendary rocker—now 71 years old and dealing with recent health issues—shared his thoughts on the album with The Talkhouse. Here are some excerpts:

On Kanye being from another planet:

“There are moments of supreme beauty and greatness on this record, and then some of it is the same old shit. But the guy really, really, really is talented. He’s really trying to raise the bar. No one’s near doing what he’s doing, it’s not even on the same planet.”

The sudden changes on the album:

“Very often, he’ll have this very monotonous section going and then, suddenly —’BAP! BAP! BAP! BAP!’ — he disrupts the whole thing and we’re on to something new that’s absolutely incredible. That’s architecture, that’s structure — this guy is seriously smart. He keeps unbalancing you. He’ll pile on all this sound and then suddenly pull it away, all the way to complete silence, and then there’s a scream or a beautiful melody, right there in your face. That’s what I call a sucker punch.”

“At the end of ‘I Am a God,’ anybody else would have been out, but then pow, there’s that coda with Justin Vernon, ‘Ain’t no way I’m giving up.’ Un-fucking-believable. It’s fantastic. Or that very repetitive part in ‘Send It Up’ that goes on five times as long as it should and then it turns into this amazing thing, a sample of Beenie Man’s ‘Stop Live in a De Pass.'”

“New Slaves”:

“Musically, he nails it beyond belief on ‘New Slaves.’ It’s mainly just voice and one or two synths, very sparse, and then it suddenly breaks out into this incredible melodic… God knows what. Frank Ocean sings this soaring part, then it segues into a moody sample of some Hungarian rock band from the ’70s. It literally gives me goosebumps.”

On Kanye’s understanding of music:

“He obviously can hear that all styles are the same, somewhere deep in their heart, there’s a connection. It’s all the same shit, it’s all music — that’s what makes him great. If you like sound, listen to what he’s giving you. Majestic and inspiring.”

Read Lou Reed’s full review of Yeezus at The Talkhouse.