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Music  >>  Vinyl  >>  Rock/Pop

John Cale

Fear

John Cale Fear
$15.97 New
 
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Nearly five years into his solo career, Velvet Underground alum John Cale headed to the studio to reinvent himself yet again in 1974. The result, Fear, became the first of a trio of eclectic albums all released in a period spanning just inside 14 months for Island Records. On this, his fourth solo release and first collaboration with Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno, Cale changes form with every composition.

Back on domestic vinyl for the first time in decades, this RTI-pressed edition of Fear is cut at Mobile Fidelity by in-house engineer Krieg Wunderlich and features stunning sonics. Quiet surfaces, faithful artwork, and the opportunity to hear Cale's incisive fare unfold amidst wide soundstages and black backgrounds - not to mention the intense content within - make this Wax Cathedral LP a must for music aficionados.

A smooth, textured departure from the clamor of the Velvets but a darker, more rage-filled concoction than Cale's 1973 set Paris 1919, Fear amazes with boundless range. Whether he's channeling the sweet, gentle Doctor Jekyll in symphonic ballads like ''Emily'' and ''Ship of Fools,'' sharpening his teeth as the demented Mr. Hyde in the graffiti-strewn city-rock anthem ''Gun,'' or thrilling with morbid joy in ''Fear is a Man's Best Friend,'' Cale effortlessly metamorphoses from one persona to the next. The whimsical ''Man Who Couldn't Afford to Orgy'' bounces into the earnest, misty ''You Know Me More than I Know.''

In the background, Manzanera's guitar buzzes and stings as Eno sculpts a changing landscape of textures with his synthesizer. Infused with sarcastic or cynical lyrics, sweeping melodies, and a wide-eyed sense of exploration, Fear spins rage into beauty and back again.

Cale is a shapeshifter. Listen to him transform.


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