I think the second track of an album, and the second verse of a song, and the second line of a verse, should usually bring extra weight, as it comes after the listener has settled in but before they can drift away.
Though it has long been one of my favorite albums, today I can’t figure out why Reed made most of the choices I notice on The Blue Mask. “The Gun”, repeating the line “carrying a gun” over and over, is the only song I can understand, but it is about such a twisted bunch of stuff that it still won’t make it onto a list or anything.
“Women”, the second track, succeeds at grabbing the attention and the bass in this song is still the awesomest thing on the album, but today the bass seems overdone, too harmonically complex and muddy, and the lyrics (“I love women, I think they’re great…”) seem like what you would write while conferring with your psychologist.
On the other hand, I still remember most of these songs even though I lost my cassette dub ten years ago and just now found it to hear again. I was a bit disappointed, though, because I remembered the song “The Power of Positive Drinking” being on this album - that’s a great song too, and one which I will probably be utterly flummoxed by should I ever hear it again.