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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Chelsea Girl

Nico

1967

Chelsea Girl

Album Summary

Chelsea Girl is the debut solo album and second studio album by German singer Nico. It was released in October 1967 by Verve Records and was recorded following Nico's collaboration with the Velvet Underground on their 1967 debut studio album. It was produced by Tom Wilson, who added string and flute arrangements against the wishes of Nico. The title is a reference to Andy Warhol's 1966 film Chelsea Girls, in which Nico starred. Much of the album features instrumental work and songwriting credits from Velvet Underground members Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, and John Cale. The song "I'll Keep It with Mine" was written by Bob Dylan, while three songs are by Jackson Browne, who contributes guitar.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.63

Votes

5632

Genres

  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Folk
  • Psychedelic Rock
Reviews
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Wed Jun 23 2021
1

We all piled on Rebecca black for having no talent but Nico makes the list of albums You Must Listen To Or Else You'll Die? At least RB's song was catchy and she paid for being famous with money rather than blow jobs. A goat being vivisectioned would be more melodic and in key. If I could give this zero stars I would, Nico is the fucking worst.

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Sun May 16 2021
5

Don't deny the greatness. Don't deny the sadness. Don't deny the beauty.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
5

Alright, I'll say it. I'm a sucker for this dark, pretentious, avant bullshit. I like the instruments, I like the vocals, I like the production. This is fanfuckingtastic.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
2

Needs an injection of The Velvet Underground. It's nice, but a bit boring. The kind of thing Iris Law listens to on the tube I'd imagine. 🦢 Chelsea rent girl, Chelsea rent girl, whoooaaa whooooaaa

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Wed Mar 03 2021
1

Fuck off flute

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Wed Feb 24 2021
1

It is rare that I can't make it through a full album even it's not my thing. Nico's voice makes me want to cut my ears off.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
1

Just Painful, it was difficult to finish this album.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
1

Oufff. No thank you

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Fri Apr 09 2021
1

You call it ‘artistic’...I call it ‘dog in pain’. Not gonna lie. This was one tough listen. It literally could be used as a form of torture. I could just imagine a Russian spy opting to spill the beans in preference to being subjected to another tune from Nico. Someone please tell this woman she cannot sing, for everyone else’s sake. The out of tune droning with the comical flute playing in the background had me Googling if this album was in fact a parody. Unfortunately it is not and it is very real. Apparently real enough to be selected into this list and that’s embarrassing. The only reason anyone would ever choose this album is because they are insecure and think selecting the shameful piece of noise would somehow elevate their coolness by the ‘in’ crowd. Hopefully Nico was locked up and institutionalised after this and they threw away her key. -100 Stars!

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Wed Mar 10 2021
3

I love Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground so much that I have an automatic soft spot for Nico, but I'm not sure it quite carries a full album for me. I kind of liked the flutey compositions that I take it she hated. Sort of interested to hear some of the later stuff she had more control on.

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Sun Mar 14 2021
1

fuck off nazi cunt

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Wed Mar 03 2021
1

Absolute shit. Production is awful - guitars quiet and muddy with terrible tone. Would have been better without strings and flutes. Bad lyrics, worked into even worse melodies. Not as smart as it thinks it is. Ended up skipping through a lot as I couldn't take it any more. Pretentious wank.

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Fri May 28 2021
1

Did not connect with any of that.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
1

🤮🤢😷☠️💩💩💩💩

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Thu Jun 10 2021
1

It's painful, in so many ways. It goes beyond interesting and weird into the awful.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
1

Nope

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Wed Jan 27 2021
1

Not my kind of music

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Fri Feb 05 2021
1

Nauseatingly bad. Two more albums this bad and I’m quitting this list.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
1

This was horrible. Not my genre, awful voice, weird sounding pieces in between. Never again please.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
1

Headache machine

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Thu Apr 22 2021
1

not a fan of her voice. I'm guessing this is held in high regard due to her Warhol / Velvet Underground association? First one in awhile I opened Spotify to see how much was left...

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Fri May 14 2021
1

Fucking horrible. I turned it off after 20 minutes cause it was too boring. These Days is still a jam tho

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Mon Jun 21 2021
1

It sounds medieval and boring. In addition to being grating, the singer's voice doesn't fit the backing instruments at all, and the audio tracks sound like they were unmixed or at the very least mixed extremely poorly. Nothing in this album meshes, and I don't understand why this would be on this list.

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Thu Aug 26 2021
1

Well friends, that was painful. Vocals are flat, monotone and boring. Some of the instrumentals would have been good as background music, but then Nico starts singing again. And what was that noise about 2/3 of the way through "It Was A Pleasure Then"? I've tried to avoid giving out 1's as a rule, but I think this one deserves it.

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Thu Sep 02 2021
1

Bottom of the list fire me

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Fri Oct 22 2021
1

Oof. I hated this. Some pretty instrumentation on some songs, but not all, and her voice was terrible. Songs were also slow and sad. Not a fan. Song I didn’t hate as much: “Somewhere There’s a Feather.”

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Thu Dec 02 2021
1

It's so bad that even Nico herself refuses to listen to it. Wondering if this album was included in the 1001 as an example of good intentions gone horribly wrong?

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Thu Dec 02 2021
1

Like being punched in the head by the sound of boredom.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

Great album. Love her voice and the instrumentation is beautiful. Like getting a Velvet Underground record with just Nico vocals!

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Mon Aug 02 2021
4

This album was interesting for several reasons. Nico's deep and untrained voice has a way of cutting through the often lush instrumentation that lends it an air of mystery and sadness. This is truly an enigmatic album, songs written by men sung by a woman who nobody really seemed to know. I was a bit tired of it by the end, but I believe this album deserves a few more listens.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
4

8/10. What if Leonard Cohen was a girl?

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Wed Apr 07 2021
3

This was going to be 2 stars, but I recognized that some of these songs have been in Wes Anderson movies. Giving them some context, and associating them with a time and place really allowed me to appreciate these songs more. They are certainly 'of an era'. They're the kind of thing you'd put on when someone broke up with you, or if you were having a very specifically-themed party.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
3

Et bien moi j'ai beaucoup apprecié cet album, et d'ailleurs j'en profite pour dire à rob que je l'emmerde.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
2

Honestly just... dull. The arrangements were okay, even interesting sometimes. The songwriting was passable. But man, Nico herself just does absolutely nothing for me. She was bearable on that Velvet Underground record, but here she has nothing to support her. Also, apparently she is super duper racist, so I am glad I didn't care for her music lol.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
2

First Listen. At first, I didn't like it much. But, as the day went on I started enjoying it more and more. This is definitely different than what I was expecting. I like her when she sang with the Velvet Underground - and that was what I was expecting. This album definitely sound like the 1967, flower-power, peace-and-love scene, and I thought she would have more of that Berlin rock sound. After getting used to the sound, I started liking it more and found myself singing along a couple of times. I'll give it a strong 2/5 for now. It might be a 3/5 next time I hear it.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
1

lo peor que he oído en mi vida

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Wed Feb 03 2021
1

J'aurais envie d'écrire une joke, mais l'album me laisse tellement indifférent que j'ai rien de drôle à dire. SKIPPPPP

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Wed Feb 03 2021
1

pas inéressé

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Thu Feb 04 2021
1

She tires me pretty soon. Nice instrumentation though.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
1

nope. Sound like someone is singing in the kitchen to themselves, kind of amateur

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Thu Feb 25 2021
1

Moany and repetitive

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Wed Mar 03 2021
1

Dreary, one-note. The only reason it’s not forgettable is because of how annoying Nico’s voice is over 10 songs.

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Mon Jun 21 2021
1

An album that really hits all the notes on boring music from the sixties. An album that drags on for an eternity that has absolutely nothing to say.

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Sun Jul 25 2021
1

I think this algorithm is fucking with me. They gave me this after I went about panning Velvet Underground. This is a slight improvement altho the German accent makes it seem almost satirical. Getting some nice Beatles vibes off the melodies and chord progressions but generally I found it a painful process trying to just get thru it. Had to listen to it one song at a time with breaks in between.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
1

Awful. Sounded like Joni Mitchel, if she were terrible.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
1

She sounds bunged up and posh. I sound bunged up and posh sometimes too, but I'm not sure it's something to aspire to.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
1

Did one track feature Kurt Zouma and his cat?

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Thu Feb 10 2022
1

Nico has talent... if talent is defined as an ability to sing every other note flat. Awful to listen to.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
1

It was a folk album. I did not care for Velvet Underground and I did not care this album even though it is a solo album. Lyrically unnoteworthy. Nothing about it was good. I ending up skipping through some of the songs because I just wanted it to end.

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Mon Feb 28 2022
1

Manages boredom and irritation. "It was a pleasure then" is a collection of cacophony. Did those great songwriters (Dylan, Jackson, Hardin) write bad songs, or did she wreck them? After listening to some other versions, the answer is that Nico can't sing

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Wed Nov 23 2022
1

Just how old is Jackson Browne? Was he signed by Columbia when he was 4? How is it that These Days pops up on an album made in 1967, about 6 years before he recorded it? This odd record has so many cultural intersections, The Velvets and Jackson writing most of the songs and poor Tom Wilson having to do the impossible and "produce" this. To think he went from Highway 61 Revisited to Nico. Andy Warhol wreaked havoc on popular culture, and for Nico alone he stands condemned. If the climate change activists really want to make their case they should throw Campbell's soup over his Campbell's Soup paintings and then stick Nico album covers all over the soup, what a fitting finale that would be. Nico, dead on arrival. She'd be the Schrodinger's Cat of popular music, except Andy opened the box. Imagine wandering into a New York coffeehouse and sitting down to Nico in 1967, what price a cup of joe? The Wikipedia notes on this are hilarious, that she cried because Tom put strings and a flute on this record and denied her drums. I can't begin to contemplate what he was trying to do to cover up her appalling drone. There are some fine arrangements here in a desperate search for someone who can actually sing. I will never forgive her for the rendition of These Days (ditto I'll Keep it with Mine). I had to immediately play Glen Campbell's (oh aye, there's a Campbell's theme here) brilliant 2008 version, where, with the onset of Alzheimer's looming large, he so perfectly captured the pain of a four year old Jackson Browne lamenting day of yore. Nico needs to be deleted, thrown into the dustbin of history.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
1

The blueprint for this album was laid out by Nico's performance on 'Femme Fatale' off of the Velvet's banana album; a lush and gorgeous instrumental that had all the life sucked out of it by her drowsy and uninteresting vocals. On Chelsea Girl, that same process is repeated 10 times in what is a 45 minute snooze-fest that perfectly encapsulates Nico's mediocrity as an artist. It is utterly remarkable how many listeners gloss over just how tone deaf Nico truly is. Each track sounds like she recorded the vocals before even hearing any instrumentals. Her vocal range and register are as wallpaper and monotone as one could imagine, yet this album has been lauded by critics as a timeless masterpiece. Not only did this album fail to push any boundaries, it hardly got out of centre field. The only redeemable quality going for this record are its arrangements and production. For the 10 to 15 seconds before Nico's voice puts me to sleep, the instrumentals are whimsical and pleasant on the ears, with the clear intention for a strong vocalist to realise the potential of each song. Nico squanders that potential time and time again, that said it would've made for some nice lobby music as an instrumental album. Nico was essentially handed these beautiful instrumentals on a silver platter, to which she adds absolutely nothing of note. In the same year as the Beach Boys release Pet Sounds; an album filled with diverse arrangements, ingenious songwriting and adventurous vocal melodies, it is one of the great mysteries as to how this album has remained relevant over half a century later.

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Wed Nov 23 2022
1

Bloody racket

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Fri Jan 22 2021

meh, a forgettable album

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

Melancholic, Orchestra,

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Thu Feb 18 2021
5

C’est cool!

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

such an easy listen. very nice.

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Sun May 16 2021
5

4.7 + Love.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
5

🦇

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Fri May 14 2021
5

Šta reći o ovom albumu osim da je blizu savršenstva? Zvuči jednostavno, ali je ovaj album mi puno znači i definitivno mi je top 5 albuma koje si moram, al moram pustiti kada dođe jesensko vrijeme. Zanemarivši njen privatni život, bila je vrsna umjetnica. Dakle ovo je album koji mi je jako blizu čiste petice, i zato vjerujem da će dobiti peticu jer ono, 90% albuma je odličan. Odlične stvari na ovom albumu od 10 pjesama: "The Fairest of the Seasons, These Days, Little Sister, Winter Song, Chelsea Girls, I'll Keep It With Mine (mislim da je ovo cover od gospodina Dylana koji je oooodlično izvršen), Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams, Somewhere There's a Feather, a pjesme poput It Was a Pleasure Then i Eulogy to Lenny Bruce su groweri, i dobre stvari, ali ako već moram neke slabije malo izabrati, to bi bile te.

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Nico's vocals are absolutely splendid! This album is so gorgeous, I could listen to it 100 times over.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Uniquely beautiful, occasionally disturbing

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Sun Jul 03 2022
5

I listened to this a LOT in the early 2000s, it was one of my friends favourites - so I'm really familiar with it, it's lovely to hear it again. beautiful guitars, lovely wistful production and an unmistakable voice.

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Fri Oct 28 2022
5

Could not have listened to this on a more perfect day

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Mon Dec 05 2022
5

The instrumentation is lovely and Nico's vocals sound raw and authentic. No autotune here. Deliciously soothing.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

Vitonen, koska haluaisin olla Nico. Levy on haikea, tyylikäs, nostalginen, ja kyllä, vähän tylsä - mutta sen on tarkoituskin olla, eli tässä tapauksesssa tylsyys on vain plussaa. Kuvastaa jotain yleistä inhimillistä apatian kokemusta.

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Sun Nov 22 2020
4

Closer to a 3.7

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

Petée bien raide la Nico

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

Chelsea Girls is an album that shows it's beauty in a subtle way. It captures the intimacy of somebody playing music for you (and you specifically) in a small room. This Aussie gives it four bags of Freddo Frogs out of five.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

wtf i listened to this on my own before it was recommended

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

Like

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

Very interesting vibe!

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

Nice. Liked: These Days

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Fri May 14 2021
4

Ja Nico i više niko

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Fri May 14 2021
4

She’s got a unique voice, and the strings pair really well with it. A little like Joanna Newsom. Second half of the album didn’t do much for me though

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

hey Nico say clown! jk but this album is very pwetty

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Fri Aug 27 2021
4

Eigenlijk best leuk

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Mon Aug 30 2021
4

I'm kind of a sucker for anything related to sixties counterculture/New York/Warhol/Greenwich Village. This isn't up to the standards of the debut Velvet Underground album, but it's interesting and never dull. I can see why Nico wasn't happy with the production. In some songs the strings and flutes add a nice feel, but the album could use some drums as well. 4 stars.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

Very sparse but beautiful.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
4

Vackra tjunes

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Sun Oct 31 2021
4

Psycho folk. Non perfect vocals

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

Great voice, a bit eccentric

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Fri Dec 03 2021
4

Interesting album. Chelsea girls is a banger

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Mon Jan 03 2022
4

Look, I like violins as much as the next person--maybe even more--but damn these overdubs (like they're trying to make every song sound like "Eleanor Motherfucking Rigby"). They're so tacked on, not matching Nico's voice at all, which sounds like she's pulling her jaw back into her throat. And then just listen to "Winter Song": the power is right there in the (rather frightening) lyrics. We don't need a flute to tell us "this is a pastoral song, in case you couldn't figure it out". RYM ranks "It Was a Pleasure Then" as the worst track on the album, but I think it's the best because it's not got those damn overdubs. Everything is more real--the music, the vocals. It's pretty VU at its heart, too, what with the short bursts of howling feedback and the minimalist experimental vibe threatening to explode into a welcome cacophony that never comes. Nope. Bring the flautist and string quartet back in. Break's over!

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Very sparse, very pretty.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

Yet another incredible Chelsea performance

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Mon Feb 21 2022
4

Beautiful music, probably wouldn't re listen often

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Mon Mar 07 2022
4

Have not listened to much of her solo stuff. What stands out is her haunting voice, it adds a mystical quality to the music. Unfortunately the same voice that charms me, grates on me before the end of the album.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
4

This album is a total mood, and I quite enjoyed it. It has a couple of songs on it that I listen to frequently, but this is the first time I heard it all the way through. Had I known it was a part baroque folk, part stealth Velvet Underground album, I would have gotten around to it sooner. I see why Nico disapproved of the string and flute overdubs, because the arrangements aren't particularly well timed to her vocals. I quite agree when it comes to the flute, which is superfluous and doesn't really add anything to the album. I do think the strings in particular are suited to Nico's voice though. John Cale's viola, as always, is a gift. The rambling, noisy distortions of "It Was a Pleasure Then" were jarring, but actually really welcome. That song really cuts through the softer aspect of some of the other songs and it perfectly showcases the great musical chemistry of Reed-Cale-Morrison. "These Days" and "I'll Keep It With Mine" are pure perfection. Fave Songs: These Days, I'll Keep It With Mine, The Fairest of the Seasons, Somewhere There's a Feather, It Was a Pleasure Then

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

pangalbum

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Thu Apr 21 2022
4

Interesting, but I don't feel it adds much to her output with The Velvet Underground.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
4

Lovely voice - lovely songs - it’s very side A heavy - the most obviously beautiful songs lie there - it just had a little distribution problem - the sunnier songs are early and gets progressively darker so it feels like it tapers off towards the end. But all in all a wonderful record.

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Wed May 04 2022
4

Nico is like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket on a brisk morning while having a cup of tea.

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Mon May 30 2022
4

4.5/5 Quite the interesting and unique singer-songwriter album of the time. I can see how it influenced Bjork and Siouxsie + extra TVU vibes 👍

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Tue Aug 16 2022
4

This was really good & atmospheric.

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Mon Sep 19 2022
4

Absolute Classic. Beautiful instrumentation and Nico's sonorous voice is such a good combo.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

Sounds amazing at first but after a while it kinda blends together. Still great tho

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Mon Sep 26 2022
4

Royal Tenenbaums song

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

strangely haunting and beautiful music. Her voice is unique and I am sure the style was fresh when this was released in 1967. 4/5

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Sun Oct 23 2022
4

Enjoyed it, but still not fully on board with Nico's vocals.

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