White Light/White Heat

The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat
Critic Score
Based on 4 reviews
1968 Ratings: #33 / 87
User Score
Based on 913 ratings
1968 Ratings: #5
Liked by 62 people
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While The Velvet Underground and Nico sounded like an open challenge to conventional notions of what rock music could sound like (or what it could discuss), 1968's White Light/White Heat was a no-holds-barred frontal assault on cultural and aesthetic propriety.

It’s difficult but never (or almost never) intentionally so. It’s aggressive but never nihilistic. It’s noisy but within that noise is beautiful sounds, brilliant songs.
Rolling Stone

Most hard-core and No Wave fringe rock today has nothing on White Light/White Heat for sheer industrial discord and locomotive propulsion.


White Light/White Heat stands against beauty, like Frankenstein masquerading behind the withered portrait of Dorian Grey. And while beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder, anything in the world can be quantified and standardized to a point-nine-nine-nine degree sense of objectivity, if so desired.

This album was the beginning of noise rock. This album was the beginning of avant-garde aspects being used in rock. This album was the starting point for genres like shoegaze, which utilize noise and unorthodox styles of production. TVU crafted such a pristine album in White Light/White Heat that writing about it really doesn't do it any justice. It is impossible to stop mid-album, as the flow is so consistent and there is always something to look ahead to. It is argued by millions what ... read more
Listening to this album is like travelling back in time and watching history being made for modern music. Apart from how influential and genre-pushing this album is, the reason I believe this is their best project is just how beautifully appealing it is despite its more challenging noise rock appeal. If it wasn't for this album, I don't think many of the more experimental, industrial rock artists I listen to would exist, or at least sound like how they are today.
Now look, I get that this album is groundbreaking, influential and all that jazz but I don't enjoy all that much, I find the production to be way too muddy majority of the time and I feel like this thing could've turned out so much better. Believe me I want to enjoy this but I just cant enjoy it in its entirety, I will say though Sister Ray is an awesome track.
Where's Waldo?
[Genre: Experimental Rock]

Nice, my 666th review! And what better way to celebrate such a milestone than to talk about an album that basically turned my brain into sludge, aye? Seems appropriate.

The Velvet Underground are a band I'm pretty sure most of us on the site are familiar with. Getting their start in the mid 60's, their feedback-heavy experimental rock sound was very... and this might be a shocking revelation... I'm sure nobody's said this before, myself ... read more
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Added on: April 8, 2013