John Cale
Paris 1919


4.5
superb

Review

by sunflower2020 USER (36 Reviews)
August 1st, 2007 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ex-sonic provocateur does his white album. And does it very, very good. The warmest and most homespun record in Cale's opus.

By 1973, John Cale was 31 and had interesting career. He was responsible for the most of dissonant and unlistenable things in Velvet Underground, then produced The Stooges and worked with Nico, recorded very good album "Vintage Violence" and collaborated with Terry Riley. It was really surprising how could he nail melodies in best pop manner, and in the other moment bring some white noise. But I would never expect that, although Cale had gift for melodies, that noisy man could make an album of childhood memories, nostalgia, France, Andalucia and Graham Green. "Paris 1919" is very unusual European record. A year after releasing "Paris 1919", Kraftwerk would break out with album and single "Autobahn", and David Bowie would salute them with "European canon is here" and enter into his Berlin period. But "Paris 1919" is not that futuristic European canon. There is no electronica or synths on "Paris 1919". Music is very old fashioned (but this is not necessary bad thing) sad, quiet and turned into past and even in some rockier numbers, there is a feeling that all songs sneak to your ears. Maybe it's European answer to Americana or in other words then popular confessional troubadour country rock.

"Paris 1919" is also very aristocratic record. I can get an impression that it is a work of an old consrevative English gentleman with cylinder and tuxedo. No cheap tricks, or punky-ish sounds or some sonic aggression. It is unusual, because Cale produced The Stooges and would be produce Patti Smith. Elegance and maturity are all over the album: Cale manage to paint various pictures due to great songs, production and super sessioners, including a cult band called Little Feat. Drummer Richard Hayward shine. Producer Chris Thomas balanced sound: orchestration and rock fit complementary like hand in glove. There are lot of details which make this delicious sound cake: whispering on "Antarctica Starts Here", birds' solo on the title track, or energetic drumming and slide guitar on "Macbeth". The weakest link is Cale's voice, average and not very edgy. But anyway he is better singer than, say, Bob Dylan.

The highlights: There is no filler on this album. Songs are excellent, but title track and "Child's Christmas in Wales" (especially the organ break) catch the ear faster than the others. I don't know if the title track had been released as a single, but it really had a hit potential.

"Paris 1919" sold a few copies in 1973 but earned a cult status and the album is better with age. It is a great place to start a long friendship with music of John Cale.



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user ratings (60)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
londoncalling457
August 1st 2007


2615 Comments


This album sounds interesting. It's good to see that you are reviewing again, because I really enjoy reading your reviews.

Sousa
August 24th 2010


45 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is beautiful. hit after hit

iranscam
September 5th 2010


469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

damn near perfect album right hur

solopez
January 31st 2011


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If "Antarctica Starts Here" isn't the perfect last song for an album, then what is it?

KILL
February 21st 2014


72280 Comments


man this rules

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

osmark86
February 21st 2014


4548 Comments


oh damn, this album's on the frontpage. noice man! this album does indeed rule.

Chrisjon89
February 21st 2014


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gotta jam again. only heard it once on a big Velvet Underground binge

KILL
February 21st 2014


72280 Comments


the endless plain gives me chills

osmark86
February 21st 2014


4548 Comments


t/t is so damn gorgeous.

KILL
February 21st 2014


72280 Comments


love those strings man

osmark86
February 21st 2014


4548 Comments


that settles it. I have to listen to this thing again.

KILL
February 21st 2014


72280 Comments


do it bro, i gota listen to fear as well

was pleasantly surprised they had reviews sputnik usually fails at reviews unless its deftones or fun. or some shit

osmark86
February 21st 2014


4548 Comments


every now and then a classic album will get a review on here. good thing indeed.

Chrisjon89
February 21st 2014


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sunflower reviewed lots of awesome shit that nobody comments on or jams.

KILL
February 21st 2014


72280 Comments


oh yea hes the dude who reviewed rough mix too he rocks

osmark86
February 21st 2014


4548 Comments


...and consequently the darling behind this gem of a review. have a pos sunflower.

Cygnatti
April 18th 2014


22290 Comments


why does no one talk about this here? :/

Digging: Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg

KILL
May 4th 2014


72280 Comments


antarctica starts here just omgf



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