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28
4.0 out of 5 stars
Nocturama
Format: Audio CDChange
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2007
This album will give you the measure of a master balladeer at his very best. True, he's as inconsistent as the next artist, but at his best, Cave has a wonderful talent for finding melodies in the darkest places. For heartrending riffs, listen to 'Bring it on', for fond and witty paeons, hear 'Rock of Gibraltar and as for 'He wants you', it remains one of his best ever songs, matched only perhaps by 'Love letter' off 'No more shall we part'.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2003
Nick Cave albums generally fall into two categories - mean, hungry stompers (Murder Ballads, Henry's Dream) and melancholy, subdued classics (No More Shall We Part, Boatman's Call). This album fits into neither - and depending on your perspective this is either a Bold New Move, or a Neither One Thing Nor The Other.
For me it's the latter. It's pleasant enough, and enjoyable in places, but lacks the guts or the heart of his best work. Highlights like Bring It On work well but you're almost left wondering whether he hasn't worked on the songs as much as he could. There isn't the depth or simplicity of previous work.
If you;re a Cave fan, this is definitely worth buying - it's not a bad album. But for those curious about his work, you're best trying one of his stronger albums.
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There are some tracks on Nocturama that fall below Nick Cave's high standards, like the overlong and somewhat indulgent Babe, I'm On Fire and the raucous, messy Dead Man In My Bed. Fortunately these are more than compensated for by the wealth of beautiful gems like He Wants You and Right Out Of Your Hand, both gentle ballads with poetic lyrics and lovely melodies.
Bring It On is a strong rock ballad, Still In Love with its moving lyrics is another slow jewel as is There Is A Town with its mournful chorus. The masterpiece of the album is Rock Of Gibraltar, an exquisite love song where Cave rhymes "Gibraltar" with "alter", "Malta" and "altar." This is a melodic and lyrical classic, ranking amongst Nick's very best compositions.
I don't see how some reviewers can dismiss this album as a failure when it contains so many superb songs with intelligent, moving lyrics and memorable tunes, including She Passed By My Window. Yes, the last track Babe, I'm On Fire is five minutes too long but this isn't a bad song, just too raw and too long. Nocturama is a great work and it deserves four stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2013
Now (unfairly) considered one of the low points of Nick Cave's career, it certainly didn't sound that way at first listen. Songs are well written, if a bit unexceptional, Nick's singing is confident and The Bad Seeds' playing once again phenomenal. Certainly worth listening singer-songwriter stuff, just not on a par with Nick's best.
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on 3 March 2008
A more diverse and uplifting album would be hard to imagine with fabulous Cave songs interwoven with the unique creativity of The Bad Seeds who remain one the finest rock bands in the world.

There are some huge songs here - "Wonderful life" is without doubt one of Cave's best yet, and there are numereous others where the creative processes have come together wonderfully including "Bring it on" and "still in love". There is simply not a bad track on the album - even the often critised and without doubt self indulgent 15 minute "Babe I'm on fire" has it's own charm - when you are in the right mood - it works best for me when I'm in the kitchen drinking too much whilst creating really great chilli con carne.

Well it really is fair to say that no rock collection is going to be complete without this album, it is not really like anything else Cave & the Seeds have done but is up there with their best work.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
There are some tracks on Nocturama that fall below Nick Cave’s high standards, like the overlong and somewhat indulgent Babe, I’m On Fire and the raucous, messy Dead Man In My Bed. Fortunately these are more than compensated for by the wealth of beautiful gems like He Wants You and Right Out Of Your Hand, both gentle ballads with poetic lyrics and lovely melodies.
Bring It On is a strong rock ballad, Still In Love with its moving lyrics is another slow jewel as is There Is A Town with its mournful chorus. The masterpiece of the album is Rock Of Gibraltar, an exquisite love song where Cave rhymes “Gibraltar” with “alter”, “Malta” and “altar.” This is a melodic and lyrical classic, ranking amongst Nick’s very best compositions.
I don’t see how some reviewers can dismiss this album as a failure when it contains so many superb songs with intelligent, moving lyrics and memorable tunes, including She Passed By My Window. Yes, the last track Babe, I’m On Fire is five minutes too long but this isn’t a bad song, just too raw and too long. Nocturama is a great work and it deserves four stars.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 December 2011
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have set their critical bar so high in recent years that this album is, for me, probably their weakest during the 2000s. It doesn't have the consistency of great songs as has Abattoir Blues, Dig Lazarus Dig, or their masterpiece, No More Shall We Part. Nevertheless, it is still a very good record. leaving most other 'rock' records in the shade.

Standout songs are Wonderful Life, He Wants You and Bring It On (the latter being right up there with Cave's best). However, on a recent play of the album (the first in a few years I'll admit), I was struck by the majestic masterpiece that is the album's epic 15-minute closer Babe I'm On Fire. On first hearing this song appears to be a (rare) piece of Cave over-indulgence, comprising 38 (yes count them!) identical verses, followed by a few interspersed choruses, leading to an initial impression of irritating repetition. But, on subsequent listens this song grows in stature until it achieves the aforementioned classic status. In its gradual increase in intensity, it begins to live in the same league as such other extended epics such as the Velvet's Sister Ray, Yo La Tengo's And The Glitter Is Gone and even Bowie's Cygnet Committee.

The song's wonderfulness is, of course, substantiated by some of the wittiest lyrics Cave has thus far set on paper - each verse just gets funnier and funnier, with Cave stretching the limits of lyricism to achieve some marvellous rhymes. My current favourite is the following:

The athlete with his hernia says it
Picasso with his Guernica says it
My wife with her furniture
Everybody!
Babe, I'm on fire

Marvellous stuff. Oh, and if this wasn't enough, there are backing vocals on this song (and two others on the album) from legendary Blockheads, Messrs Jankel, Watt-Roy, Gallagher and Turnbull.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2010
This is not an unlikable album. However, given the time lavished on his previous two masterpieces this one is quick and dirty by comparison. Now quick and dirty is something that sometimes suits rock'n'roll, but it's something that you can't really get away with on tender love ballads which almost all of these are. In Wonderful life he actually fluffs a line or two. He Wants You is pretty but a little more work on the melody and the demo-standard piano would have made it truly great. Right out of your Hand is a rather muddy sounding affair but Bring it On is an obvious uptempo single. There is a slight suspicion that all is not well with the band here. Blixa Bargeld would never play with them again and here he is given a joint lead vocal perhaps as a last olive branch.

Dead Man in My Bed is an effective rocker but the next four mid-tempo tracks don't quite reach the usual heights of Cave compositions. There are plenty of good ideas between them but none of them are polished to clarity. Lyrically, Rock of Gibralter offers some quite jarring lyrical ryhming as if it's an intellectual exercise to see how many rhymes for Gibralter he can find (Malta? Altar? Falter? etc.) There is nice violin on She Passed by my Window. The 15 minutes of Babe, I'm on Fire are genuinely wonderful though. Very few artists have attempted to write a pop song of that length - Lou Reed's Like a Possum springs to mind - but here Cave gives us a bass riff that is just so infectious that you could listen to it all day (which you almost do). I actually never tire of this track despite its duration

So plenty of interesting ideas here but an incredible lack of professional production which could have turned this into more than a demo tape. I've listened to it maybe 50 times and I still can't quite follow most of the melodies, particularly on the ballads.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2003
It's been a while since there was a Nick Cave song you could dance to, but Bring it On is just that and I blooming well love it! Nocturama hides this beautiful big folky rock piece featuring the wonderful voice of Chris Bailey amid its brooding long feathered wings of the best ballads, the best rock, the best lyrics and the best music to come from the Bad Seeds in around a decade. As a long standing Cave enthusiast, I am duty bound to love everything he releases but this casts No More Shall We Part and even The Boatmans Call into the shadows. The range of style and subject matter is greater on this album, and Nick's singing sounds comfortable and accomplished. I heard he was giving the Seeds more freedom to do their thing on this album, and the results verify the wisdom of that choice. My special favourite is Warren Ellis, who seems to have been given free reign to do as he wishes throughout the album, and he knows just what to do and where to do it. I think it is his violin which makes the difference between an average and a great song more than once. Nocturama has not left my CD player since I got it. It is Cave's best album for a long time, and I haven't even mentioned the fabulous 15-minute-long beast Babe I'm on Fire! Buy this now.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2006
First of all i have to say when i bought this a couple of years ago i couldnt help but notice how unattractive the cover is! Its unspeakably bad, which is unusual because The Bad Seeds artwork is usually pretty slick & eyecatching. Anyway..onto the music & Wonderful Life is without doubt a stunning song, as is He Wants You..a beautiful track with great piano by Nick. Other gems to be found include 'There Is A Town' & the rowdy 'Bring It On'. Some tracks bog the affair down slightly such as 'Still In Love' and 'Babe Im On Fire'which becomes torcherous after so long, in need of some much needed editing.
The album cant be considered to hold as much weight as its magnificent predecessor 'No More Shall We Part' or 'The Boatmans Call' before that, but its certainly a grower..i was slightly disappointed on first listen, but in 2006 im finding i appreciate its content more & more. Give it a chance if you like the Bad Seeds work.
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