Album Review: John Cale – Fragments Of A Rainy Season2 min read
Following the genuine aesthetic of Welsh-born music legend John Cale, comes the epicentre of his musical aura. A live album reissue collectively illustrating the magical characters that define the Rock and Roll hall of famer and his outstanding efforts in Fragments of a Rainy Season. The reissue of this ’92 live spellcasting experience follows avant-garde passion, poignant sensation and a fierceness that’s inspired many nearly 25 years on from its original release.
A deeper and comprehended approach has given new life to these greater works of consciousness – unveiling a sincerity and obscurity inside his vocal croonings that work to create a music universe both complex and surreal. As far as art-rock goes, John Cale in this performance is only matched by a handful contributors. Moderating into a variety miscellany of strength, subtlety across a spectrum of passion, Cale’s playing style speaks directly to the soul with notable live versions of his own classics. Such include the fleet working of Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, with it’s mysteriously haunted piano progressions and obsessive chord stabs shining onto a vocal vocalising both sonorous and brave. The self-introduced ‘religious awakening’ hymn of Darling I Need You caresses pieces of humble forgiveness and insightful melodies righteous and honourable. The record additionally features composed masterpieces such as outtakes and string quartet colourings. Of these, the harmonious feathery beauty of Paris 1919 unfolds sentiments of thoughtful heartbreak. Most potent and timely however belongs to his rendition of the late, great Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – a tasteful version remarkably ardent, once more honouring the iconic composer.
Much of the work in this record reasserts the gravity Cale holds as a composer, musician and brilliant songwriter. In addition to providing the chance for listeners to extract the emotion present at the original 1992 live album, the record unearths previously unreleased work – pretty furnishings which express the compelling gift of a natural style, with minimal instruments, bold lyricism and maximum vocal effect.