I have got all Nick Cave's albums and this one holds a special plce in my black little heart because it's the first one I bought. I was in a large music retailer one day and I picked up the headphones on the listening post and put them on just for a laugh. My ears wre hit by the chilling opening chords of 'Song of Joy'. I was astounded, never having heard anything like it before. I just stood there and listened to the rest of the album. This album is proof that death is a great subject for song writing, and it is much in the tradition of the blues storytelling of the American deep south and also the folk ballad tradition. The blues on the album are dirty, gritty and scary, listen to 'Song of Joy', 'Crow Jane', 'O'Malley's Bar'. The Ballads have beautiful melodies and terrifying subject matter. The duets with Kylie Minnougue, 'Where the Wild Roses Grow', and Polly Harvey on 'Henry Lee' have to be two of the best Murder ballad's ever written. The theatrical songs, 'The Curse of Milhaven', telling the tale of a serial killing 15 year old girl, and the final 'Death is not the End', a cover of a Bob Dylan song, are also great. Overall its a carthatic album if a rather bizarre one. It really does work and if you like it, I recommend you check out Johnny Cash's 'Murder' album and see where Nick got some of his influences from.