Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

John Cale: Slow Dazzle [Island, 1975]
In which Cale integrates his unsingerly voice into a full-fledged rock style--kind of heavy, kind of schlocky, but done with humor and perversely appealing in its straightness. "Darling I Love You" is a tribute to his darling, "Ski Patrol" is a tribute to his ski patrol, and on "Mr. Wilson" the Velvets meet the Beach Boys for discreet, sophisticated adult enjoyment. I should also mention that the man can really scream, and (a related fact) that his version of "Heartbreak Hotel" does not make me miss Elvis. A-