Hobosapiens, John Cale's first album for his new major label, takes its title from an unpublished article the Velvet Underground veteran wrote about Bob Dylan. But the sonic landscape covered is quintessential Cale--by turns radical and tuneful, the ferocious intelligence matched to spare but exacting lyrical imagery. The similarity with Dylan is that, though into his 60th decade, Cale remains a vital force. Here he negotiates the terrain between avant-garde dissonance and melodic finery with the aid of producer Nick Franglen of Lemon Jelly fame. The opening "Zen" sets up the vision of a world in turmoil, paying for untold crimes. The sense of foreboding reaches a peak on the haunted "Twilight Zone". But there's beauty and serenity too--in the soothing cyclical loops and samples of "Look Horizon" and "Caravan". All told, Hobosapiens is an album that ranks with the most striking of Cale's formidable career.