7 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Not his best,
This review is from: Murder Ballads (Audio CD)
This album is an assortment of covers and originals. My understanding is that the tracks were collected over a number of years, and have been gathered together here as an album of murder ballads.
There are some great songs on this album, but there are also weak tracks - O'Malley's Bar goes on for aeons and other tracks like Crow Jane sound like they could have been around since The Firstborn is Dead (not necessarily a bad thing, but this doesn't help the album to gel as a whole).
Much has been made of fact that, in spite of it's morbid subject matter, this album is riddled with black humour - true, but this may be found in subtler forms in all of Nick's work. Some songs sound like a parody of how the Bad Seeds are often perceived.
This has been one of Nick's most successful albums, but is not one of his best. The greatest hits is a better introduction to any newcomer, showing the sheer breadth of lyricism and musical vision that the Bad Seeds are capable of. Here, they are restricted by the stifling task of producing a whole album of murder ballads and by material that has been culled from a range of times and places, with the result that this is does not stand up as self-contained album in the way that, for example, The Good Son, Tender Prey or The Boatman's Call do.