Let Love In CD
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Let Love In (2011 Remastered Version) [Explicit]
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CAVE NICK & BAD SEEDS THE
Let Love In, the eighth album by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, is in many ways the group’s wholly realised work. Even more than their 1998 Best Of, it stands as the best introduction to the eloquent and elegant netherworld of Godless fornicators, murderers, the bereft and drunk and lonely and lost conjured up by Cave and his suited cohorts. Recorded two years after the flawed (according to the band; many fans regard it as another classic) signpost that was Henry’s Dream, and just before the bloody and body-strewn Kylie-featuring Murder Ballads, Let Love In not only pointed towards The Bad Seeds’ future direction, but harked back to their blustering, violent roots.
Part of this cohesion comes from the fact that the album is bookended by two tracks of the same name. The first Do You Love Me? is a gothic rouser, an ode to a dangerous lost love delivered despairingly to the sky as organ and piano rattle dementedly about, Cave in ferocious vocal form as The Bad Seeds join him with doomy backing vocals, like sextons in full lament. The second Do You Love Me, written from the point of view of a rent boy who plies his trade in pornographic cinemas, is weary and resigned, the strings (an early appearance by now-key Bad Seed and Grinderman Warren Ellis) suggesting an inevitable, tragic denouement.
Between these two explorations of the entrapping power of love and sex gone wrong are eight pieces of startling moods. Nobody’s Baby Now, Ain’t Gonna Rain Any More and Lay Me Low are fine slow numbers, the latter a desperate rant of a man dreaming of the reaction to his own death but, and this is key to Let Love In, possessed of a black and terrific wit: "There’ll be informative six-page features / when I go," sings our protagonist in impotent rage. The same goes for Jangling Jack, just under three minutes of explosive multi-instrumental punk that tells of a man who goes to a bar, orders a "Rinky Dink Special and a little umbrella too", makes a toast, and ends up shot and dying in a pool of blood on the floor. It could have easily fitted on Murder Ballads, and showcases Cave’s humour, something often overlooked in popular characterisation of the Melbourne native as a pompous old crow.
Just as Cave the lyricist kept his muse locked away from the sentimentality of approaching middle age, musically Let Love In sees The Bad Seeds managing to stay away from rock classicism and tedious proficiency bizarrely embraced by most groups when they reach that point in their career. So they deploy bells, barroom brawling piano and discord (largely from Einstürzende Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld) alongside dense arrangements that feel like a church falling on your head (see Loverman and Thirsty Dog).
The climax, though, comes on the album’s centrepiece, and what is often argued to be The Bad Seeds’ finest moment, Red Right Hand. It delivers its menace quietly at first, a folk tale of some unspecified bogeyman ("A tall handsome man / In a dusty black coat") who haunts not only the American gothic town depicted in Cave’s lyrics, but your weak, susceptible inner self: "He’ll appear out of nowhere / And he ain’t what he seems... You’re one microscopic cog / In his catastrophic plan". It’s a track that, always reworked, remains a staple of The Bad Seeds’ live set.
After Let Love In, The Bad Seeds were never quite the same again; though that shouldn’t be taken as a pejorative. After Murder Ballads, Cave’s music took a turn for the calmer mainstream until the release of The Lyre of Orpheus / Abattoir Blues and the emergence of the lascivious Grinderman. As such, Let Love In is a record of seedy panache and considered violence, the sound of a band at the very peak of its malevolent powers.
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Top customer reviews
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
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.
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.
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.
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