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John Cale - The  Academy in Peril CD (album) cover

THE ACADEMY IN PERIL

John Cale

 

Prog Related

3.48 | 10 ratings

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EatThatPhonebook
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 7/10

"The Academy In Peril" is a surprisingly fascinating work of art.

John Cale was the famous member of the legendary band Velvet Underground. His career as a soloist has some lovers, like also some haters. For some his music is too minimalistic and boring, for others it's beautiful, creepy music. "The Academy In Peril" is one of the musicians' first albums, where all the experimentation and eerie elements seem to many like a naive and immature attempt to be original. I personally have to disagree, being this album full of haunting and interesting moments that I truly did not expect, even because I didn't like it at first listen.

Cale has always been a huge follower of classical music, and his musical and technical preparation was obviously of this genre. Concerning the style of "The Academy In Peril", it is mainly divided in two genres; a more classical influenced part, where Cale finds himself mostly in front of the piano, but other times also with the violin, his main instrument. These tracks are easily defined as Modern Classical, as they aren't any rock elements whatsoever. However, the other songs are still all instrumentals and using classical instruments such as piano and violin, but they have a much more strong Avant-Garde feel to them. An eerie aura surrounds these Experimental compositions,so the music turns out to be very unique sounding.

The production is bleak and minimalistic, which is the element I love the most about the album. The songs themselves are good, some aren't as memorable or fascinating as they should. In fact, I can get bored on the longer songs like "john Milton" or the three instrumental pieces that are included in one, eight minute song, or even the title track. Sometimes it isn't exciting or captivating, an that is an element that is surely necessary for all kinds of music, but especially in Avant-Garde, otherwise people will call it pointless and dull. But the better moments are more frequent than the less better ones. The beautiful homage to Brahms, the opener "The Philosopher", or the disturbing "King Harry" can give a pretty good impression to the listener.

Overall the album is really good, with many great moments that are surprisingly beautiful and haunting. The flaws are present, but all the good stuff saves the album quite a bit. If you're into Classical music and Avant-Garde, I definitely recommend you check this out.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |

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