John Cale


When then-Velvet Underground member John Cale released his first solo album, Vintage Violence, way back in 1970, who knew that the elegantly Anglo-gothic style it launched would become such a mutation-friendly platform. Here, Cale—a 62-year-old classically trained veteran of the band Velvet Underground who has a long tradition of making accessible avant-garde music—has fashioned an album that flows cinematically through narrative pop like “Things,” a homage to Warren Zevon, to exotica like “Letter From Abroad,” which rides on a densely textured rhythm track stitched together from sonic detritus; what follows, “Things X,” sounds like “Things” with a DNA transplant from “Letter.” HoboSapiens is an adventurous, noisy and occasionally lovely record from one of rock music’s true visionaries.