WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT, the Velvet Underground's second album, is the band at their most hard-edged and skilfully perverse. It introduced guitar sounds and production so abrasive that the feel wasn't duplicated until some 15 years later when punk had matured into New York's downtown art/noise scene with bands like Sonic Youth. WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT is also an exhausting exercise in opposites. The aching beauty of "Here She Comes Now" features a delicate guitar melody and Reed's most innocent vocals since the debut's "Sunday Morning". The title track would even be playful if not for the instrumental speed rushes and vocal harmonies so discordant they're sinister. It also turns out to be a perfect primer for "Sister Ray", a depraved freak show of prostitutes, junkies, and what happens when the cops come banging at the door. Musically, "Sister Ray" is a jarring guitar crash, clocking in at 17:25, fully showing the Velvets' musical ferociousness. Such snapshots into the Velvet Underground's two sides make WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT indispensable.