What must Velvet Underground fans have made of this 1970 solo debut from the former Velvets viola-sawer? Given its men-acing title and Cale’s avant-garde credentials, surely they were expecting noisy experimentalism. No such luck: Velvet Violence‘s placid compositions are all velvet, no underground. It’s an elegant collection of stately songcraft that presages his work on later faves like Paris 1919. ”Sister Ray” diehards will still be puzzled, but for later-Cale converts it’s a must.
We gave it an A-