Paris 1919 is John Cale‘s third solo album after leaving The Velvet Underground. I expect not to be a bit weird since Lou Reed’s music is so strange. But who was the real genius of the band? I have not heard of John Cale, but I knew of Lou Reed.
It seems that Cale is more “normal” in his musical and lyrical approach. His voice on “Child’s Christmas in Wales” is pleasant to listen to. I am not saying he has the best voice ever, but a good voice. He knows how to use it. The music is interesting on this song because it sounds like a church song. It might be the organ.
On “Hanky Panky Nohow” Cale reminds me of Leonard Cohen, but Cale is far better vocally. It sounds like a sad lullaby.
The album is strong until it begins to falter midway at “Macbeth“. It is not a bad song; it is unoriginal. Unfortunately, the decent continues with the title song and the worst song “Graham Greene“. What was he thinking? I always wonder this when I hear a horrible song on a great album. Why did the record allow it?
Cale finds his way back in “Half Past France” and another lullaby sounding song in which he whispers “Antarctica Starts Here“.
This is a really great album from Cale, but it has a couple of flaws in song choice. I like his voice far better than Lou Reed’s, but Reed had more of a character and songs with things to grasp onto. I am not always clear on Cale’s vision. 8.9.