One of John Cale''s Very Finest Solo Efforts, Paris 1919 is also Among his Most Accessible Records, One which Grows in Depth and Resonance with Each Successive Listen. A Consciously Literary Work - the Songs Even Bear Titles Like "Child''s Christmas in Wales," "Macbeth," and "Graham Greene" - Paris 1919 is Close in Spirit to a Collection of Short Stories; The Songs Are Richly Poetic, Enigmatic Period Pieces Strongly Evocative of their Time and Place. Chris Thomas'' Production is Appropriately Lush and Sweeping, with Many Tracks Set to Orchestral Accompaniment; Indeed, There''s Little Here to Suggest Either Cale''s Noisy, Abrasive Past Or the Chaos About to Resurface in his Subsequent Work - for Better Or Worse, his Music Never Achieved a Similar Beauty Again.
John Cale has one of the richest resumes in pop, with experience in avant-garde music even before he met Lou Reed and they formed the Velvet Underground. His record productions include such landmarks as the debut by the Stooges and Patti Smith''s Horses. But as a solo artist, Cale has often seemed caught between his sophisticated leanings and his fondness for punky attitudes. Two early albums, Vintage Violence and Paris 1919, were the work of a highly-developed pop musician; later albums found Cale the pop provocateur dominating the show. Cale''s a fairly deadpan singer, but the sweet mix of rock band instrumentation and fuller orchestration make --Paris 1919 one of his strongest efforts, and the lovely "Andalucia" one of his very best songs. If the righteous boogie of "Macbeth" sounds familiar, that''s because Lowell George and Richie Hayward, guitarist and drummer of Little Feat, formed the core of Cale''s studio band. --John Milward
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