John Cale: Mercy review – the titan of cool misses a trick
The 80-year-old’s latest album features some inspired younger guests but cries out for less dated beats and a visionary producer
Last year, a remarkable rock’n’roll time capsule came to light. Unheard for more than 50 years, Lou Reed’s acoustic demos for his soon-to-be band – the Velvet Underground – were released, revealing one of the most important cultural partnerships of the 20th century in its infancy. If that claim sounds inflated, as well as motivating a great many taboo-busting creatives prone to wearing shades, the Velvet Underground also inspired superfan Václav Havel and Czechoslovakia’s resistance to Soviet totalitarianism.