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John Cale - Songs For Drella (with Lou Reed) CD (album) cover


John Cale


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4.12 | 13 ratings

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4 stars This is a concept album, in which all 15 short songs describe the life of Andy Warhol, the famous and somewhat eccentric artist. 'Drella' is the name they nicknamed him, for a person who had both Cinderella and Dracula sides in his personality. Both John Cale and Lou Reed got to know Andy Warhol during the 'Velvet Underground' period, and here they roll up his life story, their relationship with him, and his artistic path. His life described from his childhood in a small town, ("There's only one good use for a small town, you hate it and you know you'll have to leave"), through his point of view about art styles, ("The trouble with the classicists is"), art as a work ("The most important thing is work"), and his creation with repetitive images ("Images are worth repeating and repeating").

There is not just admiration or art discussions here; there is also a view about his humane relationships, sometimes with a criticism, ("It wasn't me"), sometimes with more empathy.

Each song is beautifully crafted, and the minimalist performance is excellent. The piano played by John Cale sound rich and deep and on the contrary could be very rock driven, with edgy, sharp riffs. Cale adds some synth touches, which sound very soft and gentle, and also brought his viola into the table, for few songs. Lou Reed contributes a lot with his sawn, distorted guitar. The vocal delivery is fantastic. The deep, low vocals from Cale, and the rough vocals from Reed, integrate together wonderfully.

The songs are short and simply structured, but there is no 'pop song' among them by any mean. It isn't truly rock songs either. Maybe 'art songs', or art rock, is the most suitable description here.

In many terms, it is a masterpiece. I'm not sure whether it's a prog masterpiece, or essential as a prog album. Therefore I turn off one star. And believe me I'm not doing it easily.

wonderful album in any case.

ShW1 | 4/5 |


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