This is basically a concept album, but not in the same way as, say, Tommy. It’s a portrait of a specific point in time and space, specifically Paris 1919. Not all of the lyrics are based on that, but it is a fitting soundtrack for that era. It’s layered, intensely personal, and absolutely beautiful, with A Child’s Christmas in Wales perfecting symphonic art rock and the title track expanding on the Velvet Underground’s later sound. Plus Cale’s voice, ragged and touching throughout, is an asset – it makes me wish he’d sang more with the Velvets, but I’ll always have his solo work.
Choice Cut: A Child’s Christmas in Wales