Nico – “Desertshore ” – [4 Men with Beards]
2002 reissue of a compelling 1970 classic. Nico (1938-88) mapped out a large part of today’s goth landscape. She paints the bleakest of lyrical pictures, her icy vocals accompanied on half these songs with her well-known harmonium drone. Hugely important here is the uncanny work of producer/arranger John Cale, who plays nearly all the other instruments, and adds exactly what each song calls for: scraping avant-garde experiments, sweet sunlit piano, a heart-tugging child vocal, queasy drones, Arabic nightmares. An outstanding collaboration by two remarkable artists. At just 28 minutes, this LP is over far too quickly.