Most helpful positive review
76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
This has been a much-anticipated album for many people, myself included. The Grinderman project Nick Cave has been working on has been far louder than the recent Bad Seeds albums, and there were rumours that this album would be a good deal quieter than previous Bad Seeds offerings. The release of the first track - We No Who U R - seemed to indicate that was indeed the case. But would it still be a Nick Cave album as we know and love them?
This is a highly introspective album, and seems to come from a different place than the last Bad Seeds outing "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!" from 2008. It certainly is a good deal quieter in that there are no clearly identifiable rock tracks, but it is definitely a Nick Cave album. The melancholy comes through in every track, and Nick's voice is as mournful as ever. I hate to draw comparisons with other artists, but it does remind me in tone of the classic Scott Walker albums - the same poetry, the same swooping arrangements, the same truly heart-felt emotion which comes over through the speakers. Comparisons aside however, this seems to me an album in which Nick has the same passion for what he does, but does it in a much calmer way.
It will put some fans off, I know, and it will certainly divide the music press. It's not what we've heard from Nick in a while - perhaps elements of The Boatman's Call - and some people will think this is a bad thing, but it is for me one of the most lovely things I have heard for some time. Standout tracks are Higgs Boson Blues, Water's Edge, and Jubilee Street (especially Jubilee Street - truly a wonderful song), and the whole thing is just a brilliant collection - play it through headphones without distractions, and just listen intently to what is passing into your ears. It's almost 2am, I've played it twice, and I can't wait to play it again.
I don't know whether Nick Cave is in a different emotional place than he was five years ago. If this album is anything to go by, I feel confident that no matter where he goes or what he does next he is still on top form, and producing music that I will listen to again and again.