Top positive review
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One of the greatest
on 20 March 2011
For my money this is one of the top five albums of the seventies, and certainly my favourite Cale album. What really distinguishes it is not the songwriting as such (although that is frequently excellent) but the sheer blood'n'guts emotion in Cale's voice. Darling I Need You is almost unbearably painful to hear, while the intensity of the vocal performance on the astonishing cover of Heartbreak Hotel has to be heard to be believed. The other side of the coin is the chillingly dispassionate spoken word vocal on closing track The Jeweller, which describes a day in the life of an average ordinary-Joe whose eye is mysteriously transforming into a vulva. This is rock music, Jim - but not as we know it.
My two favourite tracks are the opening pair - Cale's tribute to his musical hero Brian Wilson, 'Mr Wilson', unfolds in beautiful, elegaic fair-ground textures tinged with unmistakeable melancholy, while Taking It All Away is simply a mesmirisingly beautiful and heart-broken pop song which for some reason I always imagine being used as the soundtrack to a documentary about bailiffs.
An essential cornerstone of the seventies rock cannon - buy it