Album: John Cale, Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood (Double Six)


Compared to other musicians in their sixth decade in the record industry, John Cale has kept remarkably abreast of developments in pop.

His songs may reference antiquities like Ernest Hemingway, but the drum programmes, autotuned vocals and synth sequences are more modern than the usual country-rock favoured by septuagenarian troubadours. Cale works with Danger Mouse on the chunky funk of "I Wanna Talk 2 U"; renders lolloping viola, accordion and vibrato guitar into "Vampire Cafe"; and comes across like a lullaby from In the Night Garden on the oceanic "Sandman (Flying Dutchman)". But he reserves his most moving performance for the plight of gay lovers searching for connection in "Mary".

Download: I Wanna Talk 2 U; Mary; Sandman (Flying Dutchman)