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An interesting move here from John Cale, who is simultaneously re-releasing and re-interpreting his 1982 album Music For A New Society. This new version, M:FANS, is unlikely to be confused with the original, as it is laden with very modern electronic production, often coming through as a weird kind of R&B. What a bold move. 2LP on Double Six.

Vinyl Double LP £17.99 DS108LP

Heavyweight vinyl 2LP on Double Six.

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M:FANS by John Cale
1 review. Write a review for us »
7/10 Clinton 19 January 2016
One thing the last week has so has taught us is that we should respect our rock elders as they seem to be dying off at an extraordinary rate. Like his former colleague Lou Reed it’s always been a bit hard to love John Cale. Following the exquisite ‘Paris 1919’ a lot of his work has fallen in to the ‘difficult’ territory and he often has the air of a man who knows he is good…oh and also he ate that hen.   This is an odd one - he has reworked his 1982 album ‘Music For a New Society’ (also re-issued this week). Now it it is at this point that I wonder whether  I should have listened to the original album or is it best I don’t know and just treat this like it’s own entity? Well if thats the case it’s a fuzzy, futuristic sounding thing with a lot of tracks being churning synth driven gloom with Cale howling atop. ‘Thoughtless Kind’ is the first time things get into any kind of exciting territory with pounding drums and the fuzziest synths and guitars. As always auto tune is a very bad idea.   It’s around this part of the album that my ears started hurting. Cale’s relentless compression and fuzz is rather overbearing as are his paranoid lyrics so it comes as relief when the piano accompanied ‘Broken Bird’ appears. Ah…..at last….space and beauty. ‘Chinese Envoy’ too is rather nice if overwrought. In fact I’ve flipped to the original album which is much more folky and easier on the ear. I see what Cale has done, he’s taken elements of ‘Music For A New Society’ and Numanized it…or if you will Nine Inch Nailed it to make it something completely different and a lot more modern and a lot more pulverising. 


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