John Cale – Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood


John Cale’s latest is a weird one. But then again, you’d expect nothing less from the man. From (primarily) acoustic based dancey numbers like album opener “I Wanna Talk 2 U,” to the fuzzy vibe of “Scotland Yard,” to bizarre experiments with autotune, Cale doesn’t let the listener become too comfortable in any one aural space. “Hemingway” is a beauty of a track about old Papa, with the refrain of “You’ve got a thousand-yard stare” repeating into the distance. “December Rains” is a cool number that gets stuck in my head. Not everything works here, but John Cale seems like the kind of artist who doesn’t really give a fuck; he’s just following the muse where it takes him. While certainly not my favourite album to cross my desk in recent months, it has a certain quality that sticks with you. Well worth a listen if experimentation within fairly rigid confines of the pop song are your thing, and probably worth at least one spin even if it isn’t. (Double Six Records, Sheldon Birnie

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