John Cale, ‘Extra Playful’ (Double Six/Domino)
John Cale, the near-septuagenarian Velvet Underground majordomo, certainly isn’t known for his lighthearted romps. Nevertheless, there’s nothing ironic about the title of this five-song teaser for his upcoming full-length. Extra Playful is as easygoing and steady rolling as he’s ever sounded, serving up hooks, elegant Euro-beats, and a modicum of glee in poking fun at his own uptight image. “Hey Ray” wryly summarizes the Velvet Underground’s 1960s heyday as a series of invasions — some imagined (the Russians), some familiar (“The British, again!” he mock-sighs).