Reed dumped Quine shortly before the recording of New Sensations and did all the guitar work himself - it doesn't matter. This album is not a guitar record at all. Instead, Lou worked on writing 11 pop songs for the 80s. And some of the songs are his best ever, with only the 'modern' tunes 'Down at the Arcade' and 'My Red Joystick' failing. Even those tracks have comedy value. Good fun and even Dylan was envious.
It's easy to write Mistrial off as I had done upon hearing it at first. For a start, the cover art (by his wife) is appalling and his perverse side came out again by letting Saunders produce. But many of the songs are strong and his guitar work is outstanding. The title track is one of the most under-rated songs of his career with a great lyrical hook ('you can call me mister, you can call me sir, but don't you point your finger at me') and trademark guitar blare.
Generally, however, the ballads are bad and only really appeal on a comedy level ('Mama's Got a Lover' refers to him buying a step-dad a Father's Day card). However, his lyrics are great on tracks like 'Video Violence' and 'The Original Wrapper', if you can see past the dated production and the tongue-in-cheek titles.
New York (1989)
Mistrial marked the end of an era for Lou as he left behind the 80s and the dumb production which sometimes undermined the strong statements he was trying to make. New York couldn't be any different. This album has aged well and is comparable to The Blue Mask. Everything is stripped down and the emphasis is very much on guitar and lyrics.
Lou is in full on serious mode and although he does sound a bit superior at times, his lyrical talent is undeniable. The one downside is that the music just isn't that captivating and borders on the generic. But he was obviously past caring (did he ever care?) and everything on here is worth listening to, even just once. In many ways, one of his most credible albums.