By Greg Kot
As cofounder of the Velvet Underground, and producer and creator of a vast range of important work in both the punk and art-rock realms, John Cale is a legend. But the beauty of his still-vital career is that he doesn't drag that past around with him like a ball and chain. Instead, "Walking on Locusts" is a bracingly fresh collection of pop songs, some of the most melodically inviting material Cale has produced in years. One could wish for a bit more turbulence, as this collection errs slightly on the side of reflective mood pieces such as "So Much for Love" but Cale sounds effortlessly at the top of his game as he blends exotic swirl with alluring pop hooks on "Dancing Undercover" and "Crazy Egypt ."