You’ll all be grateful that Nico‘s third and most ambitious album, Desertshore, clocks in at a mere twenty-nine minutes…but maybe for different reasons. For some, the lack of variety within its grooves and the fact that Nico’s voice is a challenging instrument mean those twenty-nine minutes cannot come soon enough. For others, the material is hauntingly dark and the short running time is all that a sane person can probably take. In fact, if it were any darker, the record would need to be shipped with a suicide-prevention number. Just in case.
Nico pairs up with Velvet Underground alum John Cale once again on what may be the most challenging post-Velvet offering ever made by a former member. You’d have to remove Metal Machine Music on sheer principle to get that distinction, but Cale does a stand-up job by removing everything out of the mix, save for his occasional piano jabs outlining the drone of Nico’s harmonium and her Germanic monotone.