Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds simply go from strength to strength. Whilst Dig, Lazarus, Dig!! might not quite reach the superlative creative achievements that were No More Shall We Part and Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus, there are some wonderful moments here. The Bad Seeds have matured over the years to become one of the outstanding 'big' bands in music, perhaps even vying with the E Street Band (in their heyday) for top spot.
Standout song for me is probably the lyrical epic that is We Call Upon The Author To Explain. This is a marvellous Cave rant, delivered in his near unique style which actually makes the likes of messrs Haines and Morrissey seem like tame kittens. Whether Cave is actually complaining about obtuse literature or (more likely) objecting to the voice of critics who constantly question of the meaning of literature (and, probably, song lyrics) becomes somewhat irrelevant as Cave lists just about every global crisis ('rampant discrimination, mass poverty, third world debt, infectious disease, global inequality and deepening socio-economic divisions') before screaming 'WE CALL UPON THE AUTHOR TO EXPLAIN'.
Other highlights are up-tempo rockers Today's Lesson and Lie Down Here (& Be My Girl) which demonstrate the tightness and exemplary playing of the Bad Seeds, whilst the more reflective Hold On To Yourself and Midnight Man find Cave's vocals as soulful as ever.
I only hope that the Bad Seeds do not suffer too much from Mick Harvey's departure and that Cave continues to record with the band.