Top positive review
14 of 14 people found this helpful
too short cracker
on 23 February 2003
John Cale made a career out of re-inventing himself in the early 1970s, from the faux-pop naivety of "Vintage Violence", through foppish poet-rock ("Paris 1919")into the sheer masterpiece of "Fear" and closing this most rewarding sequence of his recordings with "Slow Dazzle". On this far too short album (just over half an hour!), Cale demonstrates his ear for rock and roll and exhibits his obvious affection for it (the stomping "Dirty Ass Rock and Roll") alongside odd musings on Brian Wilson (the sublime "Mr Wilson"), alpine rescue ( the delightful "Ski Patrol"), religious awakening in the southern united states ( the rousing "Darling I Need You") and murder (showstopper "Guts"). The lyrical content is only half the story though, with Cale's gritty rock arrangements providing a fitting backdrop for his trademark mid atlantic growl. He even pre-empts Nick Cave by at least ten years with his deadly crooning on the album's warped take on "Heartbreak Hotel". JC is not without his humour also, and a dark sense runs through this album, culminating in "The Jeweller", the album's spoken word closer, showcasing his chocolate welsh timbre relating an alarming (if entirely tongue in cheek) tale. This album surprised me, after hearing "Fear", "Paris..." and "Fragments..." first - but no one curious about Cale's work should be without it.