Let Love In is pretty much the definitive Nick Cave album.
If you're new to Nick Cave, then I'd suggest buying it purely for Loverman. The six and a half minute song is pretty much a distillation of what makes Nick Cave fantastic. Doomy touches, such as the haunting bells; his brooding lyrics, for example the 'M is for murder me' section, and the fact that the song sounds so complicated but is in fact basically three minor chords over and over.
Not that Loverman is the only highlight of this stunning album. Opener Do You Love Me? (Part One) sets the scene, before the reprise slows the tempo and makes it even more chilling than before. Red Right Hand remains a favourite of Cave's and features some of his best imagery, and Thirsty Dog's playful, darkly funny lyrics show the other side to him.
Let Love In is everything but perfect, and no Nick Cave fan should be without it.
on 3 November 2000
I love Nick Cave's work and this album is my personal favourite. It contains all the elements that make Cave and his band great (Love, death, Blues, Booze and Murder) and is at the same time more accessible than some of his other work. To say this album is accessible is not to say it is a 'sell out'. Quite the opposite. Cave puts his own slant on the condition of love, perhaps to best effect in the cynical but beautiful, chiming, 'I Let Love in'. Here we have aching love lorn ballads, 'Nobody's Baby Now' and 'Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore'. Sexy scary songs, 'Do you Love me?' and 'Loverman'. The centerpeice is 'Red Right Hand' which has decked the soundtrack of many a teen slasher movie, but is best listened to rather than described. Also Cave manages a laugh at his own mythology in 'Thirsty Dog' and 'Lay me Low'. It all ends with one of the most chilling songs ever written, 'Do You Love me?' (Part 2), a narrative about child prostitution. Overall its a tuneful album and and the one I would recommend to those new to Cave's work. The Bad Seeds give great support as ever.
on 23 October 2002
The cover of Let love in speaks volumes, Cave, looking towards heaven, with the album's title scrawled in what looks like lip stick across his pale chest, in front of a red curtain. The image is dramatic, poetic and sleazy which perfectly describes the music. The album kick off with powerhouse "do you love?" shows Cave leaning away from twisted blues to a more rock based sound. The piano while still here there, is used more sparely and effectively. The compulsory piano led love ballad is still there "no body's baby" It has less grandiose than the love songs of pervious albums.
The organ is used to great effect, and no more so than on the album's centre piece. The epic
"Red right hand", a cinematic masterpiece, with an eerie organ solo and a bell building up a sense of doom.
What makes "Let love in" is that is so enjoyable to listen to, it most of the elements of Cave's previous works.
There is the disturbing "do you love me (part 2)?" a chilling look at child prostitution based on what Cave observed while living in Brazil. The raw and noisy "Jangling Jack" and the frantic "Thirsty dog"
where Cave sends up his own persona.
"Lay me low" which would have fitted nicely on "The Good son" has Cave mediating on his eventual end with much irony and black humour.
"They will interview my teachers (Lay me low)
Who'll say I was one of God's sorrier creatures
There'll print informative six-page features
When I go"
With "Ain't gonna rain anymore" pays homage to Scott Walker's darker moments creating a brooding masterpiece.
Let love in is a stunning performance, with Cave and the bad seeds at the height of their powers. Stunning.
Takes those soporific elements from Radio 2, then drives them way out to the rolling prairie lands, where the sun beats down the rhythm hard to bake it tight. Locked up with a bottle of hard liquor in the palm of its hand, as Glenn Campbell, Barry White and some maudlin country and western play through the airwaves, a tear comes to the eye and rolls onwards. Meanwhile everything leads to all car occupants a hollerin and screamin to "Loverman" and Red Right Hand" and "Do you love me?." Because this platter blasts all those anthems that made the Bad Seeds much more relevant to real life than the sugar maple of the Beatles.
So as the notes are screamed in our one-way taxi through the scrublands only the dulled up insects will hear the full tonal ranges of what is on offer. So you get shovelling to "Let love in" an ode to being castrated, bound and gagged to be dragged through life's dreamworld into an open pit. And there you have it, because this recording lets the melodies in, to allow the lyrical frenzy to march into your soul and place a tourniquet around its neck. Then you watch with eyes bulging as you still hum the tunes, thinking it is just a game and it ain't gonna rain anymore.
Takes bits of the Pogues with a dollop of an industrial jig to clasp each other together in a vice grip dance off into the swirling perpetual void
Nick and his cronies have never appeared more powerful than when they finally cheered up to play the main dance, because it appeared they were only there to bang the lid tight upon your soul.
on 17 February 2006
This album is a work of genius. If you like nick cave then you probably already have it - if you are browsing for something new to listen to then this is what you are looking for.
on 28 April 2007
My first Nick Cave record was Henry's Dream, best birthday gift ever big brother, and second was Let love in. I do not have the gift in writing to express my gratitude that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have given us the opportunity to listen to their wonderful work. Artistically, you will not find any better craftmanship than this.
If there were just one album ,this is the one.
on 16 March 2007
I don't think I have ever heard an album better than this - I have had it for three years and I still listen to it more than any other. It's dark punk undertones and amazing melodies make it worth listen after listen.
Not just Nick Cave at his best, but one of the finest moments in rock history. His later stuff is not bad, but this mid-career moment is unbeaten
on 17 March 2008
I discovered Nick Cave properly after seeing his name appearing in random and varied places - singing with Johnny Cash, on a free magazine compilation CD, on a Jools Holland song... when I bought Cash's American III and heard Mercy Seat, that was the final straw. Away I went to YouTube to listen. And I wasn't disappointed. I went off to buy albums - strting with Boatman's Call, it was good but not the side of Nick Cave I had been intrigued by. Then Murder Ballads and, ecstatically discovering he had a new CD out, Dig! Lazarus Dig! and barely a week ago form today, I bought Let Love In along with 2 other albums. From experience, buying albums together usually means I don't get to know thm well enough, or the songs seem to blur together. Not so on this one.
Let Love In seems more refined than Dig, obviously more intense than Boatman's Call, and more messy and wild than Murder Ballads - all of these of course being qualities that only the likes of Cave could make into 'good points'. A rundown of tracks:
Do You Love Me? - Catchy but glum, a hypnotically dark tale of sinister goings-on with children apparently in Brazil, here from the perspective of the 'customer'. As ever Cave captures his character very well, even verging on sympathising with him at points.
Nobody's Baby Now - Lyrically I find similarities to Into My Arms. Musically a bit more busy, but not massively. AGain, a song you will remember.
Loverman - A very Cave-like sinister verse, with a violent and insane chorus, and lyrics only Nick could write...
Jangling Jack - Delightfully loud and silly and dark and violent. The story is intriguing and imagery vivid, but the humour and cinematography that make Cave & his Seeds stand out shines out here.
Red Right Hand - you've heard enough. Eerie solos, syncopation, more musical cinematography in this song, and after the shouty Jangling Jack a very subdued and quiet vocal performance. As epic as any 2-part 5-hour film.
I Let love In - The title track is a fairly traditional song lyrically and musically (at least for Cave) yet is nevertheless unique. Quite a good song to sing along to... just watch out for the unsettling lyrics come the 3rd verse...
Thirsty Dog - Musically similar to the aggressive Jangling Jack, but definitely not a copy or a filler. The chorus is a repetitive, almost chant-like minor-key shout of "I'm sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry".
Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore - One of those songs where the vocal performance makes oyu think the character isn't quite convinced of what he is singing. It ain't gonna rain anymore now that my baby's gone, he says, but he sings it like he's trying to convince himself through his own tears. And, of course, failing miserably.
Lay Me Low - a fantastically dreary song with a slow pace that draws you into Cave's observations of what will happen when he himself dies - his work being seen in a different light, informative six-page features and relatives spilling the beans on long-gone lovers, for example.
Do You Love Me? (part 2) - Part 2 seems slower than the first. It is pretty much the same song, but from the perspective of the child. Very chilling stuff.
Overall, not a bad track on the album. Recommended if you like (I say it again) musical cinematography, epic songs lined with a multitude of characters, dark humour, catchy songs and amazing musicality all round.
on 15 June 2004
Along with "Tender Pray", this is perhaps Nick Cave's best album.
The music is mysterious and brooding, with such classics as "Do You Love Me?", "Red Right Hand", or "Nobody's Baby Now". The lyrics are wonderful, and if you like writers like Edgar Poe, they will be right up your alley.
Nick Cave is one of the major artists of our era, don't miss his works.
on 17 August 2013
My introduction to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds was with DIG! LAZARUS! DIG! I'm really loving his new album Push The Sky Away, fantastic album too.
This has made me want to check out his earlier work. As I know I like the song Red Right Hand already I went for this album, and I'm not disappointed! RRH isn't even my favourite song on this album. Great stuff!
Mr. Cave, I believe you are going to cost me a small fortune over the next few months. ;)