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July 13, 2024

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John Cale
Hobosapiens (EMI)

By: Cam Lindsay

Avant-garde musical legend, NYC production guru (The Stooges, Patti Smith, Nico) and of course, key member of The Velvet Underground during their heyday, John Cale is a complete artist in every aspect. Now in his early 60s, one might expect him to slow down and mellow out, yet Hobosapiens finds Cale taking a very diverse and unexpected direction in his music making. Recorded using the utmost advanced technology (aka Pro Tools), Cale's first song-based album in seven years is curiously a laid back, contemporary piece of rock music harnassed in his own unique fashion. Balanced with his exceptional skill for modern poetry are lush string arrangements, soaring atmospherics and spellbinding rhythmic beats. When "Archimedes" hits its peak, the music hits familiar ground. With one listen, it becomes no surprise that his production assistant is none other than chill expert, Nick Franglen, of the quirky Lemon Jelly. He holds back on his current interest in folk hop heroes, The Beta Band and Beck, leaving things slightly subtler than on his 5 Tracks EP from earlier this year. Yet you can still sense his excitement in those artists in certain spots such as "Caravan" and "Things X". Weighing in at over 60 minutes, it is a bit of a marathon listen, but knowing how beloved and appreciated this 20th century innovator is, that just means there's more of John Cale to love.
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