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Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood

20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 9, 2012
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood + Paris 1919 + The Island Years
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Editorial Reviews

Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood is an album that seems born out of John's mischievous youth. It is the result of sessions held at Cale's LA studio. With days spent experimenting with MPCs, pounding fists onto pianos, manipulating glitches and lots of signature viola drone while patiently waiting for songs to reveal themselves. There was also a spontaneous session with Danger Mouse that resulted in the opening track, "I Wanna Talk 2 U." As a producer Cale has reached a new plateau on this record. He deftly manages to blend equal measures of chaos and beauty.

1. I Wanna Talk 2 U
2. Scotland Yard
3. Hemmingway
4. Face To The Sky
5. Nookie Wood
6. December Rain
7. Mary
8. Vampire Cafe
9. Mothra
10. Living With You
11. Midnight Feast
12. Sandman (Flying Dutchman)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Domino
  • ASIN: B008SVS05K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,268 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By The Headhunter on October 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I dunno what the reviewers are listening to -- I've seen several reviews of John Cale's first CD in seven years, Shifty Adventures in Nookie Land, and they describe an odd-ball disc that Cale scratched out of his studio. Nothing could be farther from the truth. My guess is these are novice reviewers who relied on ancient bios of Cale's work with the Velvets, and who don't know his catalog. Anyone who knows Cale's last 5-6 albums will immediately recognize what they're hearing. There's nothing odd-ball about it. Tight new songs with Cale's trademark orchestration and production -- nothing left to chance, nothing sloppy. If there's anything experimental here, it's the musical ideas. It's the same high caliber experimentation Cale always delivers. When his recordings hit the disc, there's no producer that can compete with the quality of his work. You can tell this is a man who is facile with orchestras, ballet, rock bands, electronic music, acoustic sound, and that touch of the spaghetti western. Cale is always listenable. This disc is outstanding -- lush beats, lyrical melodies, and the sometimes gutteral edge he's known for. Then there's the drone. Can't match it. At 70, his voice is rich and emotive as ever. Adventures is a new sound that reflects the best of what's going on in music today, brought out by a master. If you like Cale's work, you won't be disappointed. Based on the reviews in various publications, I was expecting a "street" record made off the cuff. This is first-class John Cale. Highly recommended whether you know John Cale's records, or if you're new. One listen, and I know I'm going to hear something new on each track with every listen. Thanks, John, for a good one.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nse Ette TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 9, 2012
Format: Audio CD
John Cale is a co-founder of The Velvet Underground and I took note of this album because of the involvement of one of my favourite producers Danger Mouse. "I Wanna Talk To You" is a lovely funky rocker with Danger Mouse and it sounds spontaneous and free. "Scotland Yard" is a choppy Bowie-esque number taking a look at the UK riots of summer 2011.

Other standouts are "Face To The Sky" (filled with interesting drum and synth flourishes), the eerie "Nookie Wood" (with hushed vocals), "the catchy December Rains" (Disco-ish with auto-tuned vocals), the brilliant ballad "Mary", the haunting shuffle "Vampire Café" (with semi-spoken lyrics touching on homophobia), "Mothra" (again, auto tuned-vocals set to skittery beats), and the funereal ballad "Midnight Feast".

Filled with unexpected piano turns, strangely beautiful synth effects, and colourful drum patterns, John Cale has always been at the cutting edge of Rock, and aged 70, he shows no sign of slowing down or losing his bite.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Keene on October 12, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Cale has always had a journalist's and an artist's eye for war (Check his album Sabotage) and life (Music For a New Society and all other albums). For Cale to evoke Hemingway on this album is very appropriate. Cale has reported on the horror and the terror and the beauty of life throughout his career. To my ears and mind he's done it better than almost any other musical artist out there. Cale has not gotten bogged down (not for long anyway) on the "nada" that froze Hemingway and finally destroyed him. Hemingway was one of the greatest writer/journalists that ever lived and the song "Hemingway" captures his artistic essence, filtered through Cale's expression. I love every song on this album but "Hemingway" with Cale's graveyard stomp piano and great vocals and lyrics, is my favorite.

Musically this is a lush beauty. Much time, evidently, was spent on the production and arrangements here and it shows. His voice is in good shape and especially the background vocals are gorgeous. Even when he changes the sound of his voice through studio effects he pulls it off terrifically. The rhythms and percussion, instrumentation and various sound effects are uniquely Cale. Every song has something unique to offer and the lyrics are deep and sometimes mysterious. It moves with a shifty artistry. Cale has said that he doesn't like to do the same kind of music all the time with the same sound and really his whole career has made that obvious. This is so different that it may take some listeners time to get it but it will be worth it. This is an adventure in music, sound and poetry.

Nookie Wood, with all it's creatures is a strange and wonderful place to visit.......later for "nada'.
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Format: Audio CD
It's shifty being John Cale. After years of adventurous music do you go for the mainstream, retain current fans or try and develop new ones? He's 70 so he probably doesn't really need celebrity at this stage. That's a good thing for his fans as "Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood" finds Cale working with Danger Mouse and trying some new and older ideas in a delightfully unique Cale mixture.

Opening with the unusual "I Wanna Talk To U" John Cale says what the heck with genre conventions and tries on a new hat with each song. For comparison "Scotland Yard" with its icy exterior and echoes of Cale's own "Gun" and Kraftwerk indicates that as Cale looks to the present, he also looks to the past for inspiration. For a guy not exactly known for writing a lot of straight love songs "Living with You" stands right up there with "I Keep A Close Watch" as an example of how deft Cale can be at writing songs whether they be ballads or scortching rockers. Cale wraps his smokyI'm not sure if "Shifty" is very good or great but it's certainly (at its best) as powerful as Black Acetate and his early masterpiece Paris 1919 (Exp).

The mastering could be better as "Shifty" finds itself midway between the loud mastering that's the trend and earlier, quieter masterings that give the music room to breathe. That's not to suggest the album isn't dynamic--it can be it's just that I tend to favor masterings that focus more on using the power of dyanmics rather than beat listeners over the head with an unending assault of sounds.
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