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This review is from: Push The Sky Away (Audio CD)
Album number 15 for the band and nearly five years from the fantastic Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! With the Grinderman side project taking up some time for the members of the Bad Seeds as well as some work on the Lawless soundtrack it is time to get back to the main project.
This album is a years worth or writing by the band with Cave gathering influences form such diverse places as Wikipedia and simply Google searching. The lyrics were written into a notebook that Cave kept. All ideas came from Cave and handing these over to the band the resulting music is made. A simple and effective way to make an album.
Album opener "We No Who 'U 'R" takes you to a comfortable Seeds style. The song title does suggest some darkening moods and it is obvious from the start of the song. Fading out into "Wide Lovely Eyes" there are very little instruments on this track just piano and what seems to be muted guitar or some other stringed instrument. The song reminds me of looking at old photographs and revisiting where they were taken.
Finding some influence from Grinderman in track three "Water's Edge" simply has some viola but the first trace of a melody and minimal you look forward to it so much you miss it. Cave sounds like he has his notebook right there and is taking lyrics at random. Not so much from different songs but in another order. "Jubilee Street" has been heard before by me and it is a great song. But it was a little puzzling back then, now it fits in so well. The music now flows happily with textures taking on a near Swans style. Melody comes back in here and it is repetitive but that is where when first listening you see why it is track four now. Going onto a more epic style of ending it is classic Seeds.
"Mermaids" is the first real acoustic feeling song, containing some odd lyrics it feels like Cave is having some fun. And why not. If you like blues then you have an idea how this song goes. Back to the piano for "We Real Cool" lyrics that question the bands or even the singers age and weather they are cool. They lyric "Wikipedia is heaven, when you don't wanna to remember no more" shows who IS cool and those who take the easy way to get info may have it easy but they may not be cool doing so.
Psychedelic sounding "Higgs Boson Blues" seems quite chaotic in lyrical content but the music takes you back to the 60s. The song is one of the highlights and the longest song here. Again back to the lyrics it is obvious they may not have any real link to each other in the same song but it fits the album perfectly. Historical ramblings and car travels seem placed in a black and white photo.
Ending title track feels like a movie on its own. Dream sequences form the whole film. It is a very slow track that repeats the lyric "keep on pushing". A fitting ending that fades away to the disbelieving that the album is over so quick. Only 42 minutes long but it is one of the finest 42 minutes you may hear this year. And in the 30 years of the Bad Seeds it is a stand out album. Most music is build all around the normal band set up of drums, bass and guitar. This is a refreshing listen that makes the listener want more. Each song is crafted beautifully and shows the skills of the entire band.
To get to this amount of albums and to have given us the quality they have done in the past it is easy just to do it all again. But no I think the side projects have helped and with them doing so well commercially it has got the band on an more even level.
With the side projects and Nick Cave carving out a fantastic writing career I think the band have been given a fantastic chance to create something that no rule book would have let be done. Simply stunning!