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December 8, 2023

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John Cale
5 Tracks (EMI)

By: Cam Lindsay

I must admit, I don't think I've heard any of John Cale's proper post-Velvet Underground material. This being the case, 5 Tracks comes as a bit of a surprise, considering in a recent issue of a UK music mag, Cale admitted to The Beta Band's Hot Shots II as his current favorite album. Little did anyone realise that The Beta Band would inspire him to take a shot at psychedelic folk in his own music. 5 Tracks, however, isn't directly influenced by the Scottish band, but you can place a hefty bet that the snail's paced hip-hop beats and dub experimentation weren't in Cale's mind before he discovered the Betas. Like Lou Reed and his latest, NYC Man, Cale uses the city for his subject matter on "Waiting For Blonde", which contains some rather dull lyrics about taking the subway. "E Is Missing" is the one track I would . Lush and filled with the type of brooding orchestration one would associate with Cale, it remains to be the only real moment that makes the EP a worthy listen. C+
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