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Despite my love of John Cale’s stellar album ‘Paris 1919’, I have never knowingly delved into his varied solo back catalogue for fear of ruining it all for myself. I’ve enjoyed his Nico collaborations and of course his Velvet Underground work and I was a fan of his assymetrical haircut that he retained well into his 50s which has sadly now long gone, replaced by a kind of Nick Lowe style messy white fluffer with pink streaks. His music these days? It’s kind of industrial. Not unlike Gary Numan. It’s dark claustrophobic rock music, his voice is still a powerful thing indeed, happily still with traces of his Welsh upbringing.At times it sounds like Interpol, at others The Associates. ‘Face to the Sky’ is an excellent effort sitting somewhere between Japan and early Blue Nile - it’s really great, a chilling melody and lots of clanking industrial sounds thrown in for good measure. You get the impression, though, that this would have sounded truly groundbreaking in 1982 but now kind of sounds like all the bands who were pushing the envelope back then. There are also some truly awful moments, please don’t use autotune, John - ever again - ok?
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