INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
Wondering Sound APRIL 22, 2011 - by Barry Walters
JOHN CALE: HOBOSAPIENS
John Cale has an illustrious resumé: he was a founding member of The Velvet Underground, as well as the producer of landmark albums like the self-titled debuts of both The Stooges and The Modern Lovers, as well as Patti Smith's Horses. He's accumulated far less acclaim for an extensive solo catalogue that hit an early plateau with '70s cult favorites like Vintage Violence and Helen Of Troy, and has been wildly inconsistent since, veering between conservatory-style experimentalism and a rock classicism built on observational lyrics and ensemble performance.
Cale brings together both approaches on this surprising 2003 comeback (released a year later in the US) by layering satisfying singer-songwriter fare with playful alt-rock and digitised mischief. This hybrid's success chiefly lies in Cale's inspired choice of co-producer - Nick Franglen of Lemon Jelly, a British electronica duo distinguished by its unusually snarky samples. Franglen welcomes a revitalised Cale into the Pro Tools pop world on beat-driven tracks like Letter From Abroad much in the same way Brian Eno lightened and contemporized his old friend on their Wrong Way Up (1990). Akin to Marianne Faithful's recent work, HoboSapiens' cross-generational collaboration clicks.