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Paris 1919

John Cale

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Born: 09 March 1942 in Garnant, Wales

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While John Cale is one of the most famous and, in his own way, influential underground rock musicians, he is also one of the hardest to pin down stylistically. Much has been made of his schooling in classical and avant-garde music, yet much of what he's recorded has been decidedly song-oriented, dovetailing close to the mainstream at times. Terming him a forefather of punk and new wave isn't exactly accurate either. Those investigating his work for the first time under that premise may be surprised...
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Paris 1919, John Cale
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