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Black Acetate – John Cale

John Cale Black Acetate

Black Acetate

(2005), 5.5/10
Black Acetate is the sequel to Hobo Sapiens, but where that album was glorious techno colour, Black Acetate is black and white, with rock guitars and funk beats. John Cale is taking inspiration from 21st century guitar bands like The Strokes, and while he inhabits their space with verve and dignity, it’s simply not as diverse and exciting as his previous effort.

Cale is still trying things – Black Acetate begins with the intense falsetto of ‘Outta The Bag’, and there’s the weird sound collage of ‘Brotherman’ where Cale proclaims “I write reams of this shit every day.” And there are exciting songs – ‘Sold Motel’ is hooky and propulsive, while ‘Turn the Lights On’ ventures almost into metal territory with its heavy guitars.

Black Acetate is my least favourite Cale album I’ve covered on this site; it’s still creative, but its monochromatic sound is wearying.

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