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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking,
This review is from: Henry's Dream (2010 Digital Remaster) (Audio CD)
One way to divide Nick Cave's albums is to separate the ones where the primary concentration is on ballads (such as The Boatman's Call and No More Shall We Part) and the ones where the primary concentration is on the uptempo and mid tempo rock songs (such as Let Love In and Abattoir Blues). Henry's Dream is very much in the latter camp.
The album is not devoid of ballads ('Loom of the Land', for example, is very good indeed) but I can't help gravitating to songs like 'Papa Won't Leave You, Henry' and 'Jack The Ripper', which defy you not to sing heartily along, and the murder ballad 'John Finn's Wife'.
At the time it came out I can remember this being described as Cave's 'American album' and the influence of blues and rock is certainly felt here. Experimenting with song forms in which loose, quasi-improvised verses lead into big choruses, Cave creates music that is deceptively loose: his lyrics are superb and highly-worked, so any apparent clumsiness is deliberate, but the craftsmanship is not as obvious here as it is on the ballad albums.
As with all of this remaster series, the sound quality is excellent, especially on the 5.1 mix, which seems to be more restrained here than on some of the other albums but which really shines on tracks where the Bad Seeds chip in with additional vocals. The 38-minute documentary gives a decent slab of analysis, although the amount of time devoted to telling you about production difficulties seems strange when the final master is so satisfactory. The package includes live versions of 'The Good Son', 'The Mercy Seat', 'The Ship Song', 'The Carny' and 'I Had A Dream, Joe', and a couple of other bonus tracks. It also includes three promo videos (with soundtracks in stereo for some reason), and all bonus tracks can be downloaded to a portable device via PC. It's a nice touch that you can download the videos in one of three bit rates.
This is an album full of life and spontaneity, with more than a hint of high spirits. It's not my favourite, but it is definitely worth getting.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ballads in the badlands!,
After the mellow and swirling ballads of his previous album The Good Son Nick returns to his former bite and epic balladeering in the literary tradition of Edgar Allen Poe and William Burroughs. The lyrics on this album are superb and full of nightmarish imagery and biblical cadences and the music is varied and urgent with the Bad Seeds more than earning their keep. The title track is the opener and still sounds likme a cast iron classic with its singalong chorus and apocalyptic verses of violence and despair. After a frantic and enjoyable I Had a Dream Joe Nick makes an assay on the love ballad in which he has become a modern master. Straight To You anticipates the intimacy and prophecy of the songs on The Boatman's Call. A great growly huge hearted ballad of passion and pain that ranks among his finest songs. Cave takes the American Brother Can You Spare a Dime? folk sentiment and upends it in a glorious drinking song Shane McGowan would have been proud of. The album continues to mingle the spirit of The Pogues,Tom Waits and the holy ghost with the eerie Christina The Astonishing and the ultimate persection of the outsider turned mutderer number When I Frist Came to Town. This theme has become embedded in Cave's world and feature heavily in his novel The Ass Saw The Angel written just before this collection. John Finn's wife is a cracking Murder Ballad with "legs like scissors and butcher's knives" she arouses blood in the eyes of the narrator who of course kills the haples Mr.Finn. The Loom of the Land is a lilting and evocative travelling tune that surprisingly doesn't end in carnage. It provides a welcome contrast from the final track Jack The Ripper which is a lugubrious tune about a henpecked husband whose wife screams rape every time he comes near. Slightly insensitive and clumsy on lots of levels this closer almost detracts in an excellent collection where Cave is finding his own voice by experimenting with his inspirations and borrowing from the ballad tradition of poetry and song. At the time it was his best album so far and now it has been far surpassed but still stands up proud and strong in Cave's beautiful and melancholy opus.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique sound,
This was the first Nick Cave album I ever owned, but it started a passion for a man who never fails to arouse emotion.
Henry's Dream mixes rock, gospel and haunting ballads to great effect. You could never call this his best album, but it should make you laugh and possibly even cry. And anyone who can sensibly rhyme confetti and machete in the same couplet has to be deserving of more than faint praise.
If you want a taster of Nick Cave, then this is probably not the best one to start with - there are many better, such as Boatman's Call, Red Right Hand and Murder Ballads - but a welcome addition to any Cave collection.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sex, death and rock and roll,
By A Customer
Henry's dream plays like a softer twin of Tender prey, that is not say that Cave is rehashing covered ground, it has the similar balance of edgier tracks and ballads. Here the edgier tracks are softer and ballads are more sweeping and beautiful. "Straight to you" and the often over looked "Loom of the land" are some of the best in Cave's repertoire. The same themes of love and death surface here,
"John Finn's Wife" and "When I First Came to Town" would not be out of place on Murder Ballads.
While other tracks are a logical evolution of the blues sounds on "first born is dead."
It may not be among Cave's best, but even his weaker moments sparkle with brilliance.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pounding the Lecturn into Saw dust Caesars,
This review is from: Henry's Dream (Remastered) (Audio CD)
A brilliant jig along with a poked eye slithering on the end of a pointed stick as the small town lives of tumbleweed blow across a prairie wind evoking the blank desert in a series of song blasts. Cave takes the gospel stance of the pulpit being bashed and splintered in galloping tunes where he evokes the Dream. But as always these peter out into a dark night mare. However this is not all Faulkner and gothic weirdness.
Straight to you is a love song which runs straight edged into something positive occuring on a Nick Cave album, a song untainted with the whiff of necrophilia. Whilst the cup being empty is another crowd roarer as he retreats back to the lecturn albeit leaning over the ledge and sinking into despair. the lyrics operate as a narrated rapport about life brimming over into nihilism. Penniless the desire to lock away heartache is rendered in prose.
Christina the Astonishing brings to the fore an early Catholic Saint, the patron saint of lunacy - someone who died at 21 and who became resurrected with stories about life after death. Eventually she lived until 74 after smelling the sin in the other person. A paen to the surreal leads to "when I first came to this town." A beautiful haunting song which could have been sung by Glen Campbell way back in the 1970's except the sense of doom and foreboding hovers like a heavy BO scent throughout the whole blast of strings and slide guitar. The clicking cowboy boots are forever spurred onwards to the next hope after the world is shattered within the present. Reminds me of the book "Of mice and men."
Then it is up onto the floor to throw the bodies around to John Finn's wife, a song which is waiting to be born as it hits the ribs of a murder ballad brimming with lust and paranoia. Loom of the Land is heartfelt paen however to necrophilia as a man plots to murder his girlfriend through seduction. Finally Jack the Ripper shows how a woman can erupt into toxicity as a relationship has soured into recriminations, paranoia, violence and mutual abhorrence.
So within this opus Nick preaches, pleads and cajoles the listener by cupping his hand to the ear and bellowing his inner madness.
5.0 out of 5 stars cd 1 missing,
This review is from: Henry's Dream (2010 Digital Remaster) (Audio CD)
I bought this deluxe edition recently, when it finally arrive to my hands I found that cd 1 was missing, but the product was perfectly wrapped. Amazon actitude satisfay me a lot because they delivered it again at no cost, but when it arrives home for second time it again had the cd 1 missing. But once again Amazon acts seriously and offers me a refund. Thanks Amazon for your responsable attention.
5.0 out of 5 stars High Drama,
Nick Cave is one of those artists that you suddenly discover has created a masterpiece and that you've owned it for about 10 years. I went back to this album after seeing the Bad Seeds perform Papa Won't Leave You Henry live at Hammersmith, where it honestly gave me goosebumps. He can create a rich world within a 4 minute song that would take a novelist 200 pages and this album is full of some of his best narrative (as opposed to confessional) tracks. The most compelling of these are Papa Won't Leave you Henry, I had a dream Joe and the sweeping, majestic John Finn's Wife - but every track on Henry's Dream will leave you feeling a strange and profound affinity with their grimy, anti-hero narrators who somehow pick a noble path through all that muck.
4.0 out of 5 stars Brutal, Dark and Moving,
This was an impressive effort from Nick cave and the Bad Seeds and a testament to their truly unique style. One of the quite striking things about this album is that compared to more sombre releases such as No More Shall We Part, it is probably the most approachable of their works to date for first time listeners. By this I mean that while many albums have a track which is disticntly 'radio friendly' (not strictly a mark of quality) and likely to be released as a single, a majority of the songs earlier on this album possess a similar punctuality in both rhythm and energy. There are also some slower pieces, particularly The loom of the Land and Christina the Astonishing but for the most part they are guitar driven rock songs.
The lyrics deal with many of the themes found in earlier albums. These include religion, alcoholism and poverty, strewn with blood stained, sinister, cynical and in places truly surreal imagery and delivered with wit and an inimitable sincerity. The songs are for the most part fairly short but consist of an elaborate array of instrumental styles and combined with the lyrics convey an epic and sometimes quite beautiful quality. A must have for any Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds fan old or new.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great album buy a great musician,
Henry's Dream, Nick Cave's seventh album, is one that I feel sometimes gets undue criticism from the non die-hards because of over production and its reported `unfinished sound'. Well, I just felt like I had to do something about this. First off, I absolutely love this album. To me it is a five star product and easily compares to anything else the Bad Seeds and Cave have ever done. The songs, though there aren't that many of them, are all top notch, typically exquisite Nick Cave, and every second of music lying underneath feels exactly right for Cave's unique lyrics. Seriously, I love this album.
So, it all starts with the incredible `Papa wont leave you, Henry', a long and typically gloomy Cave track dealing with his usual range of morbid interests, all married beautifully with the Bad Seeds energetic music. It is one of Cave's best ever opening tracks, and just generally one of his best songs ever.
`Straight to you' is a wonderful love song dealing with an everlasting love and all the things the focus of the song will overcome to find their love. One of his strongest love songs.
The last three tracks `John Finn's wife', `Loom of the land', and `Jack the Ripper' are all stunning, and contain some of the most beautiful stuff he has ever done.
Okay then; while this isn't his best album ever, though it pretty high up in my list, it is a fantastic Nick Cave album and one that you would be a fool not to buy. It has some of his best tracks and is a great addition to any music collection. Please buy it!
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