HoboSapiens [US Bonus Track]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's been ages since the erstwhile ex-Velvet Undergrounder cum art-rock maven has forayed into the realm of -- for lack of a better term -- popular music, but HoboSapiens positively bursts with evidence that he hasn't been cocooned in an ivory tower all that time. That's clear from the opening bars of "Zen," a deceptively soothing bit of knife-drawn social observation that's built almost entirely on eerie samples, over which Cale intones his message with typically detached eloquence. Like Cale's best work, HoboSapiens isn't easily pigeonholed. While dark tones creep in from many corners, songs like "Reading My Mind" verge on giddiness, with chiming guitar counterpoint,...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's been ages since the erstwhile ex-Velvet Undergrounder cum art-rock maven has forayed into the realm of -- for lack of a better term -- popular music, but HoboSapiens positively bursts with evidence that he hasn't been cocooned in an ivory tower all that time. That's clear from the opening bars of "Zen," a deceptively soothing bit of knife-drawn social observation that's built almost entirely on eerie samples, over which Cale intones his message with typically detached eloquence. Like Cale's best work, HoboSapiens isn't easily pigeonholed. While dark tones creep in from many corners, songs like "Reading My Mind" verge on giddiness, with chiming guitar counterpoint, doo-wop-styled backing vocals, and Italian-language audio-vérité melding into a buoyantly bizarre cruising classic. Cale plays it straight here and there -- the desert-dry "Things" sets his shrugging musings on mortality against a thoroughly linear acoustic melody -- but for the most part, HoboSapiens finds him as interested in the trip itself as the final destination. That trek proves particularly fascinating on the string-laced fog-cutter "Look Horizon" and the herky-jerky "Bicycle," on which he and old comrade Brian Eno teach the current crop of "post-rock" purveyors a thing or two about messing with people's heads as you tickle their feet. Graceful and incisive, HoboSapiens confirms that artistic life need not end -- nor reach stasis -- at 60.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
John Cale's reentry into the world of pop music is a contentious and accessible one. This is the Welsh iconoclast at his most elegant, energetic, and innovative. HoboSapiens finds Cale using samples as the base of all his tracks and using musicians to fill in his ideas -- ideas that were firmly established melodically, lyrically, and texturally. There are a couple of dozen players here, including guitarists Joe Gore Tom Waits, PJ Harvey and Joel Mark, Eno and his two daughters Darla and Irial, bassist Jeff Eyrich, a small choir of Italian voices, a choral quartet called A Tonal Choir, drummer Marco Giovino, and samples by a host of electro-wizards. But it's not the collaborations that make the recording remarkable, it's the songs. Cale's sense of whimsy is back with a vengeance here. Check the gloriously loopy hook in "Reading My Mind" one can hear just how deep Cale's influence on David Byrne went, the acoustic rock and irony in "Things," the skittering kit drum and string loops in "Look Horizon," the ethereal keyboard and sample darkness of "Magritte," the dreamy pop expressionism of "Archimedes," and the silly, angular Euro-funk in "Bicycle," with Eno's daughters giggling away. Throughout the 12 tracks on HoboSapiens, Cale's outlook is fantastical, nearly bright, and full of mystery and history, with philosophy, religion, quirkily cultural artifacts, and wry humor all woven together with thoroughly modern post-rock and pop music that is seamless yet full of angles and multidimensional yet full of attitude and grace, with a slippery Euro sheen roughed up by rugged U.K. shagginess. This is easily the best and most provocative recording Cale has made since Honi Soit. It's ironic that the two bravest, most original pop records of 2003 were made by old men: this one and Robert Wyatt's Cuckooland. [HoboSapiens was released in the U.S. with a bonus track, "Set Me Free."]
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
A luxuriant union of black-ice electronics and chamber-pop instrumentation that evokes the courtly manner of his 1973 classic, Paris 1919.
Entertainment Weekly - Scott Schinder
His most sonically exhilarating, lyrically passionate effort in two decades. (A-)

A luxuriant union of black-ice electronics and chamber-pop instrumentation that evokes the courtly manner of his 1973 classic, Paris 1919.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/7/2004
  • Label: Or. Music
  • UPC: 826798040420
  • Catalog Number: 80404

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Zen (6:02)
  2. 2 Reading My Mind (4:10)
  3. 3 Things (3:36)
  4. 4 Look Horizon (5:41)
  5. 5 Magritte (4:58)
  6. 6 Archimedes (4:40)
  7. 7 Caravan (6:43)
  8. 8 Bicycle (5:05)
  9. 9 Twilight Zone (3:48)
  10. 10 Letter from Abroad (5:09)
  11. 11 Things X (4:49)
  12. 12 Over Her Head (5:23)
  13. 13 Set Me Free (4:31)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Cale Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Harmonium, Keyboards, Viola, Vocals, Background Vocals, Sampling, Electric Viola
The Count Sampling, Drum Loop
Brian Eno Loops, Drum Loop
Jeff Eyrich Bass
Joe Gore Guitar
Gayle Moran Vocals
Roberto Vocals, Voices
Erik Sanko Dulcimer, Bass
Bill Swartz Drums
John Kurzweg Guitar
Alexandra Montano Vocals
Lisa Bielawa Vocals, Voices
Ryan Coseboom Sampling
Joel Mark Bass, Guitar
Alba Clemente Vocals, Background Vocals, Voices
Andy Green Guitar, Sampling
Lance Doss Guitar, Background Vocals
Brian Foreman Bass
Dimitri Tikovoi Sampling
Mikael "Count" Eldridge Sampling, Drum Loop
Emil T. Miland Cello
Eden Cale Spoken Word
Darla Eno Laughs
Irial Eno Laughs
Marco Giovino Percussion, Drums
Shelly Harland Sampling
Gayla Morgan Voices
Elizabeth Henreckson-Farum Vocals, Voices
Technical Credits
John Cale Arranger, Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Brian Deck Engineer
Cameron Jenkins Engineer
Rick Myers Art Direction
Andy Green Producer, Engineer
Nick Franglen Producer, Audio Production
Mikael "Count" Eldridge Engineer
Nita Scott Executive Producer
Alain Robbe Grilles Author
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