George Starostin's Reviews



Become a Certified Commentator today by following this link!

!!Before adding new comments, please check the GUIDELINES. Don't say I didn't warn you!!


Phil Cheslett <> (24.04.2002)

Ian Johnston's 1996 biography of Nick Cave Bad Seed (Abacus) satisfies the intriguing question of where the great name for this great band emerged from... "A new name would indicate that the band wished to make a new start. The scene in Dostoyevsky's Crime And Punishment where the deranged and consumptive Katerina Ivanovna throws an inebriated dinner party to commemorate her late husband had always been one of Cave's favourite passages in the novel. For some reason he always mistakenly remembered the scene the scene occurring at a birthday party, hence the group's new name."

" I could've been a Raskolnikov, but Mother Nature ripped me off..." Howard Devoto from Magazine's The Correct Use of Soap.

An NME reviewer once described the wonderful Smiths as "sloth disguised as innovation" I think here the opposite is true.

Jordan Ruud <> (26.10.2003)

(That's interesting about the Birthday Party. I always thought the name of the band had come from the Harold Pinter play.)

Anyway, I've loved reading your comments on Nick Cave's stuff. He's one of our finest songwriters - a great visionary. Try No More Shall We Part; it's the album that came before his most recent Nocturama, and I think it's his best work overall.

<> (13.01.2004)

I believe Murder Ballads can be recommended as a starting point, too.

It is the only Nick Cave's album which probably has some humor in it. Probably, a lot of humor.

Well, of course, I can not be sure of that, probably Nick on Murder Ballads was deadly serious again. But at least one can argue about that. One definitely can say this is the funniest Cave's record.

Also, Nick told once that these ballads haven't been created all at the same time, as if on purpose, but rather the album is a collection of songs accumulated over the years, songs that wouldn't fit into other Cave's albums. This says much.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (13.09.2005)

I didn’t get into Nick Cave long ago (which is a shame, shame and more shame); I first heard him about half a year ago and have loved him ever since. I believe Nick will never disappoint me: he is very reliable. It’s always good to have somebody you can trust. He is like J.J. Cale or Mark Knopfler in that respect. Now let me tell you why else I love the guy so much.

His voice. If you don’t like it at first, don’t give up. Just like Dylan’s, you will get his one day and it will be paying you off till the very end. Cave’s voice is HUGE. It’s wide, it’s dark, it’s very deep. It may sound like barking at times, but even then it will be such an emotional barking, you won’t pay it any mind.

His lyrics. Man, can he create images with his lyrics! Say, don’t you feel like you are really under 15 feet of snow while listening to one of his songs? Don’t you see what he is depicting in “Hallelujah”? And many of his songs have quite good messages. Nick Cave isn’t easy.

Atmosphere. All his songs are filled with it. Be it atmosphere of beauty, of sadness, of death, of love, of … anything. Nick always wants to thrill you. He is not down here for your money, not even for your love. Damn, he is down here for your soul! “Mercy”, anybody?

Let’s also say some words about his band, The Bad Seeds (or The Bed Seeds, like one of my pirate CDs suggests). They are STUNNING! They were created for each other. That violin alone is worth a fortune!

Sure, Nick isn’t perfect. While he is very consistent, he is not diverse. He may do whatever he wants – blues, punk, piano ballads, hard-rock – he sounds like Nick Cave doing HIS music (just with a hint of this or that). Also, Nick Cave may sound monotonous at times (mostly because of problem #1).

I would recommend starting with his latest effort (as of 2005), it’s arguably his most representative album.

Believe me, with getting one of his records you will enter a different world. Dark and gloomy and beautiful. And a very very special one.


No reader comments yet.


Luke Redgen <> (10.11.2003)

It's funny, my Dad got me into this band in the first place so careful how you treat our predecesors, generalisations can lead to purse-beating! But seriously, this album is very good, their peak, for me at least. 'Dead Song' is great for it's new-wave immitation, 'Cry' is great for an almost Cave-Harvey interplay, 'Zoo-Music Girl' and 'King Ink' have the same, but 'Zoo-Music Girl' features that wonderful lyric "My life is a box full of dirt."

Me and Dad are going to see Nick Cave in December, perhaps I will give a comment to how good the performance is (Blixa Bargeld recently left "The Bad Seeds"), luckily there are eighty thousand decent Bad Seeds side-project bands (bands which you would love some of, but you might never get a chance to hear, like "The Blackeyed Susans", Australian music is so interesting, yet all the good stuff gets ignored, also "The Dirty Three" are an insturmental Bad Seeds side project which is a great band in it's own right, featuring the insane Warren Ellis on violin naturaly), and all of these bands have guitarsits that would probably not be able to excel at Bargeld's game, but certainly be wonderful.

Ok, so this hasn't much been about Prayers on Fire, but it certainly is a wonderful album, naturally I'd give it a 13 but my interest in this weird and dissonant stuff that may or may not be the peak of excelence (subjectivism and all) is higher than yours. That said, this is as far from The Beatles or The Who as possible, so it's so hard to even rate them on the same scale or compare them. When you're forced to, The Beatles and The Who are so much more professional, you'd have to give Sgt Peppers or The White Album a 15, does it mean this album is worse? What a silly question. Maybe some day someone can come down from above the clouds and teach as how to be true cultural comparitivsts. Until then, this album is a 13.

E <> (19.11.2003)

The asylum metaphor works; this album cultivates a schizophrenic cacophony, an aural tempest of discordant psychosis. This is psycho-rock, but psycho-rock devoid of the playful whimsy suffused with the works of Barrett or Gong; this is dangerous, tenebrous, menacing psycho-rock, psycho-rock with a homicidal tinge, a downright frightening experience. Ironically enough this album was my first exposure to the genius of Nick Cave. I'm thankful that I ended up starting with this rather than Junkyard, as this is infinitely more accessible than the latter, which might've turned me off with its perpetual dissonance. I love it now too, but I was only willing to give it more chances because Prayer had already won me over, and on first listen at that. Just as Tender Prey engendered a need in me to track down every Cave solo album, this CD convinced me that I had to own the complete BP discography (not that it's that large). Prayers is an album that's simultaneously psychotic, eldritch and disturbing while remaining catchy, melodical and deeply entertaining, a rather difficult balance to achieve. Melody is never sacrificed in favor of pretentious self-indulgence or image posturing; difficult as it is to believe, I found the album rather accessible, as every track clicked in my head on first listen and subsequently lingered in my mental jukebox without any prodding. I'd give it a 13, and call it the best BP release, though definitely not up to the standards of his peak solo output. So listen to it, and try not to be disconcerted by the fact that the band members sound like they want to creep out of the speakers and eviscerate you with egg beaters. They've only done that on a few, isolated, occasions.


No reader comments yet.


No reader comments yet.


Richard Burger <> (03.06.2002)

Am I the only person in the world who likes 'Well of Misery'? I mean, obviously the lyrics and the vocals are terrific, being Nick Cave and all, but why does no one else find the tune catchy? And doesn't that slow pounding thing make you want to bang your head very slowly and deliberately, and play air-pickaxe? Oh well. Anyway, the covers suck, but the rest is mostly pretty cool too. I'll just agree with your praises, and add that "A Box for Black Paul" is one of the scariest songs I've ever heard. This album is definitely no Let Love In or Your Funeral, My Trial, but it's a lot more interesting than I expected it to be- lots of cool noises and a decent amount of good tunes, and not only is Nick still pretty deranged, but his lyrics are way better than in the Birthday Party era.

<> (12.12.2002)

I don't know... I always thought From her to eternity being the best early (pre-Tender pray) Cave album. This wonderful depressing sound with quer but very touching lyrics is more interesting, i think, then the rawness of the birthday party and that blues-punk of the firstborn is dead. i like 'well of misery' too, and i'm really in love with the title track, especially the Wings of desire vershion. And laugh at me...I even find 'In the ghetto' quite nice...


No reader comments yet.


No reader comments yet.


Ainars Zhebeerklis <> (29.09.2003)

Quoting your review: "when will I see that day when a movie with a rock star in it, even an alternative/underground one, will be sitting comfortably in the IMDB Top 250?". The day has already come. If you take a look at the mentioned list at number 39 you will find Fight Club which features Meat Loaf in quite an important role. Otherwise I can agree to you that rock stars usually don't participate in worthy movies (there's just one more rather good film with a rock star I can think of and it's Sting in David Lynch's The Dune).


E <> (11.11.2003)

I just had to say something about Tender Prey. It my first Nick Cave album (not counting his Birthday Party output, which is really a whole other story altogether), and I wasn't sure quite what to expect, envisioning something tame and timid in comparison to the work of his erstwhile outfit. I certainly hadn't anticipated that the album would commence with the monstrous drive of 'Mercy Seat' (not to be confused with everyone's favorite Mormon (barring John McFerrin) Neil Labute's brilliant play of the same name), a song that instantly became one of my favorites of all time. And amazingly, while nothing else on the album attains that level of tenebrous perfection there's nary a weak cut; actually, I love nearly every track on the album (especially 'Up Jumped The Devil', 'City Of Refuge' and 'Mercy', though they're all good). I've since purchased the remainder of Cave's discography, and while there're many great entries none, for me, at least, can compare to the macabre brilliance of this album. Darkness with intelligence to it, not just an empty artificial, sterile Goth image or darkness for the sake of being dark or mass marketed teen angst (which was designed to discount and invalidate actual teen suffering, BTW); darkness with intelligence and really good melodies, too. An easy 14 from me (using your scale). But while I do find it to be his best, by no means should anyone overlook other Cave classics like The Good Son or Kicking Against The Pricks. He's even still good, if Nocturama was any indication (and I think he said something about two more albums by 2005, but who knows). I'll still never read his novels, though. Sorry Nick.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (13.09.2005)

Nick Cave knows his music. He can do no wrong. Tender Prey is a masterpiece that screams “SOLID!” so often and so distinctly, you are left in no doubt it truly is.

The record is very consistent (consistency was always Nick’s forte), rather diverse (well, you know Nick, it’s not Nick’s forte, but let’s say basically it’s rather a diverse record). We start with “Mercy Seat”, a definite Cave song. He could sing it for an hour, I wouldn’t mind. It’s solid, dark, scary, big, catchy; it’s the best he could do. “Deanna” is a fast energetic rocker. Believe me, you won’t get out of your head that “I ain’t down here for your money…” It’s unforgettable. The album has its share of emotional ballads (“Watching Alice” is particularly beautiful), a creepy ballad (“Mercy”, which is, well, creepy), a great rocker “City Of Refuge” with its fantastic guitar rhythm. Really, the only letdown (a slight one, a very slight one!) comes at the very end, with a soft “New Morning”. It’s still very nice and was probably the most effective way to finish this album. Yeah, I believe it was.

I give this a 14, but a low one, ‘cause he proved he could do better.

Dave Dickson <> (08.03.2006)

Nick Cave's an interesting bugger! Albeit difficult as heck. Tender Prey's the only CD of his I've heard so far (thank thy recommendation for that), but after two listens, I'm alternately intrigued and disappointed. He's one helluva songwriter, that I can tell already. Eh. . . but there's problems: awful production--REALLY REALLY awful, somewhere between Sonic Youth's early EPs, Black Flag's Damaged, and 1982 Cocteau Twins, and Nick Cave's voice, which sounds like really angry, drunk Ian Curtis on a particularly sarcastic literary rampage. Then again, that's better than just plain really angry, drunk Ian Curtis, period. See, Bob Dylan may be a bad singer, but he at least gives the impression of aiming squarely for the notes of the melody. Cave doesn't give a fuck whether he hits the damn notes or not. He's going to declaim, son, and you better take what you're given. Maybe I should wait for Boatman's Call.

Oh, but the songs. They're good. Melodic, dramatic, and they sound really good--albeit only after two listens. You're like: "HEY! This is actually above average songwriting. Not beeeeeeehd" (Cartman voice) The only problem is, because of the horrific production and the bad singin', it's only IMPLIED good songwriting. You have to work the songs through a mind- filter before you strike gold. That's good, but not Automatic for the People good. Why I made that comparison is a mystery for us all.

Good songs. "Mercy Seat" was a shock to me--I was expecting something dark and gothic or something. Instead I get this tinny racket somewhere between the Velvet Underground, the Cocteau Twins, and Weird Shit Alley. It actually COULD be a good gothic heavy metal song in a different arrangement, but nooooo, we have to be post punk and non-accessible. Still, Nick's vocals and melody save the song, as does the length--it needs the length and insane repetition to be memorable. Great song, in fact. I DO wish, however, that someone would turn those goddamn snare drums down. They REALLY distract in a bad way.

I DO enjoy Nick's avant-garde re-workings of folk, blues, and country on here--quite similar to what U2 were doing on side 2 of The Joshua Tree at the time, albeit far more difficult, snarky, and postmodern in this context. "Slowly Goes the Night" is a rare ironic loungey jazz tune I actually don't despise, mainly because of the backing vocals. "Sugar Sugar Sugar", of all things, reminds me of "Ghostriders in the Sky" by Southern rockers The Outlaws. I'm sure that was intentional on Cave's part.

Usually I'm irritated whenever any punk or post-punk artist chooses to give a shout-out to all those '50's and '60's greaser garage Dean McQueen jerk pioneers of old, and "Deanna" is no exception, but even I have to admit it's a catchy song. In fact, the only truly worthless song on here, I'd say, is "New Morning." It's a crap song that's crap, and it sounds jarringly out of place and time. Why he had to put it at the end of the album I have no idea.

A little too intentionally inaccessible for me to laud as a landmark in music in general, but it IS a good Nick Cave album. Solid and well-thought- out. Shows its four months of work. If 13 is the highest grade possible, I give it an 11.


No reader comments yet.


Alexey Provolotsky <> (26.12.2005)

If you allow some weird game-play, I would call The Good Son “acoustic blood”. You know, it’s like when your temperature is very low or like they took way too much blood out of you. You feel very weak, relaxed and troubled; it’s exactly that state. And while it’s mostly quite an unpleasant (if not disgusting) state, you can’t help feeling slightly charmed by the fact someone can do it to you without a thermometer or a needle. Nick creates a totally red (if not crimson; oh my, what an unexpected coincidence!) album. Like blood. If Bob Dylan didn’t do it in 1975, Nick Cave might have used the metaphor, really.

I don’t feel like describing the man’s songs, you see. They are good. Beautiful, intriguing; sometimes creepy, sometimes gorgeous. Like usual, a whole lotta images. My favourite cuts would be the heart-warming “Foi Na Cruz”, the somewhat mystical “Sorrow’s Child” (George, I don’t usually know about such things, but the booklet states that Mick Harvey doesn’t play piano on the album) and the totally harrowing “The Weeping Son”.

Cave’s most unique experience. Funny, The Good Son sounds so relaxed, it seems he did it in rather a slipshod manner. Yet I don’t complain: I like this album more than any other in his catalogue. And that is despite the fact that both Tender Prey and his latest effort (as of 2005) are actually better. A high 13, I guess.

<> (31.12.2005)

He didn't 'settle down'. He fell in love with a Brazilian Stylist. That tends to mellow people down. Unless you're John Lennon.


No reader comments yet.


No reader comments yet.


<> (09.04.2006)

Can't believe you'd call Let Love In a stagnant effort. I mean, for me it's without a doubt Nick Cave at the height of his very considerable power. I'd say it's head and shoulders above albums such as Tender Pray and Henry's Dream, as much as I love those albums. The Bad Seeds are at their very best thoughout the record, creating the perfect atmosphere for each song. The production too is flawless but most importantly, the songs are among the best Cave've ever written. I mean, "Nobody's Baby" is probably the finest balad he ever made and you're calling it mediocre... Sorry mate, that just offends my sensibilities a lot. Give it a re-run, you won't regret it! I'll concede that "Ain't gonna rain anymore" is dull, but apart from that one, all songs are fantastic. The lyrics are alsa vintage Nick Cave; perhaps not as earnest as his later efforts, but definitly the culmination of his literal, theatrical, detached phase. Well, now when I got that off my chest, I'm off to raise some hell, cheers!


<> (03.11.2003)

This is my favourite Nick's album and I've so often heard about that album being too "popsy" or too "entertaining" that I really just couldn't wait what a wise man like you, George, would say on this beautiful piece of work. And wise you are here as in every other review of yours , George - this IS a postmodernistic piece of work which is not for everyone - in the same way as Tarantino movies (you mentioned them, you did!) or, even better, Rodriges movies are more than they seem to be. Hell, I can even compare this thing with William Blake's "Songs of innocence" in a sense that these Blake's poems appear simple, stupid and straightforward but, hell, THEY ARE NOT! And as every postmodernistic work it requires the reader (oh, sorry, I meant the listener) to be prepared beforehand - otherwise the effect can be, well... undesirable (we do remember what happened after Natural Born Killers hit the screens).

So, this is a fine work of art, fine narrative, at least. And this is where Nick doesn't have to display his "image" much (which I always thought has been slightly exaggerated) because he managed to craft such powerful lyrics and such beautiful melodies. Hell, do I go murder someone? I'm not very well read, it's well known.


<> (14.11.2003)

I find Boatman's call boring to death. I thought it would be like Murder Ballads Part 2 but, nope, nothing like it.

What's worse he continues that way ever since. What's amazing, I know many people who claim Boatman's call being as good as any of his earlier works while claiming Murder Ballads a sell-out. I don't really understand why. Poetry on this disk is okeyish but nothing extraodinary.

I like only "Where do we go but nowhere" for some Lou Reed-style tragic intonations. Anyway, only listen to this disk if earlier Nick Cave got on your nerves and you want something relaxing for a moment but afraid to put on anything that your friends could consider mainstream because you are oh so alternative, ignorant as you are, ignorant, pretensious and bourgoise. Forgive my mispelling, did I have to try?

Alexey Provolotsky <> (13.09.2005)

I hear what you say about this record forcing you to like it. Yes, it surely does, but it manages to, so count me happy. In fact, I hate when someone forces me to appreciate/love his effort (like, say, Dan Brown with his “The Da Vinci Code”), it’s no good. I try to analyze why I like this painting or this movie or this song, so it’s never hard to notice that cheating. But I don’t mind Nick doing that. The record is so beautiful, poetic, melodic that I can’t see why I shouldn’t love it. I would never call it his best effort (just because it concentrates only on Cave’s soft side), but it would always stand alone in his catalogue.

First of all, The Boatman’s Call is amazingly consistent (I wonder how you defined the filler, I do). The only minor letdown is probably “There Is A Kingdom”, ‘cause its chorus is way too predictable and simplistic, but the rest are beauty. My personal favourite is (for no reason I’m aware of) “People Ain’t No Good”, which I always listen when I’m depressed and hate (and I often do) all those damn human beings. The length is perfect for me. Speaking about the tracks you “cut out”, I would like to say I’m absolutely astounded by the warmth and loveliness of “Black Hair”. Just an accordion and Nick’s voice. Oh, that’s a lovely mix.

A beautiful thirteen.


No reader comments yet.


No reader comments yet.


<> (08.12.2003)

Upon the first, the second and all the subsequent listens it's the same Boatman's call for me. Actually, however, I'm not sure that I've given more than three listens to this album. And more than that, I was never able to sit through the entire album. It bored me to death, much the same as Boatman's call. Why it bored me to death? Because the songs are what they are. When on Murder Ballads I heard very pop-oriented and quite accessible melodies with such violent lyrics I thought that's cool, no one did this before to popular songs. That was like some terrorism when they bring bombs disguised as toys and dolls.

If this is a "serious" statement, ok, then something like "Mercy seat" was not serious? I doubt that, does anyone see any joke in "Mercy seat" lyrics? So, "serious", I guess must mean "less emotional". Ok, that's all right, I guess, Cohen's songs are practically devoid of emotion and still they're not boring. Why? Because they're clever. Now is this stuff clever? Not as much as Cohen's stuff. Always Cave's stuff is based on some feeling. Now here it is also present. But it's weak. And why do we want serious stuff from Nick anyway?

Ilya Nemetz <> (12.03.2004)

Dear George, to be honest, I'm quite surprised you've chosen No More Shall We Part as Mr Cave's Most Underrated Album. Let me quote from one of your own excellent essays: "Underrated by whom?".

GCO? Nope. AMG gave NMSWP 4.5 stars, and that's the highest rating Nick gets there. MusicOMH is extremely enthusiastic about the album in question (no numerical evaluation there). Mojo – a 10. Magnet – a 9. The Wire – a 9. Wall Of Sound – 88/100. Both Q Magazine and Dot Music – 8 out of 10. Now, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and Adrian give it a mere 7, true enough, but is it equivalent to being underrated by them?! I don't think so.

So much for the notorious GCO. Then there’s a ‘hardcore fans’ issue. I am reluctant to draw any general conclusions in this case, but judging from Israeli Cave fandom (I suppose it does qualify as ‘hardcore’ par excellence), I’d say NMSWP is a little bit overrated. Here it’s generally considered Cave’s best work to date.

Concerning the review itself, I disagree (it’s customary, to say the truth) with your Best Song pick and ‘red tracks’ choice. As for my own preferences, I would probably mark in red both two openers (great songs) and two closing ballads (important songs). Oh, and Best Song… Not easy at all, as the aforementioned magnificent four are practically even, yet still – ‘And No More Shall We Part’: Cave’s best vocal delivery in ages (who could have possibly guessed Nick is a lyric tenor technically?!) + charming non-trivial melody consisting of 2 ½ musical themes. Overall album rating is a wee bit low for my taste, too: 13 would be more appropriate. Then again, I’m inclined to treat Mr Cave as a 4-star artist, so it’s still a 9.

That said, I have found your review insightful and informative. As usual.

PS: By all means, try to get a limited edition CD featuring two bonus tracks (‘Grief Came Riding’ and ‘Bless His Ever Loving Heart’). Both are great (especially the former), completely on par with NMSWP standout tracks, and, if you ask me, with Nick’s best efforts in general.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (13.09.2005)

Frankly speaking, I also find it odd that you named NMSWP Cave’s most underrated record. But I’d rather concentrate on the actual music. So, it’s similar in mood to The Boatman’s Call, but different in substance (liked your “meat comment”). I think NMSWP is more interesting to listen to: it is wider, the vocal delivery is more diverse (I’ve always loved his screaming). It’s not necessarily better, but just a bit different.

The album starts with a nice guitar rhythm of “As I Sat Sadly By Her Side”. The song is perfect. The piano lines are absolutely brilliant. The title track is a bit surprising, but I love it. The singing is moving. “15 Feet Of Pure White Snow” (nice to listen to in winter) is a catchy and screamy number. A pure classic. And so is the great tale “Hallelujah” with its striking refrain, and so is the gorgeous “God Is In The House” (with some annoying whispering, but that’s just boring nit-picking). Still, the best track here is unquestionably “Oh My Lord”. The crazy violin and emotional screaming make it one of Cave’s strongest creations ever.

I’d like to give this album a higher rating than TBC (just because I like it more), but it’s hardly worth a 14. Also, I couldn’t give TBC a 12 (would be too low). So, I’m trapped. Thus NMSWP gets a high 13. As opposed to the beautiful 13 of TBC. Hmm. There, I outwitted you.

David Dickson <> (07.08.2006)

Ahhhhhh, now THIS is more like it. See, here's the weird thing. Nick Cave, at first glance at his discography, didn't strike me as a weird, wild, postmodern post-punk postman from Postville as he's supposed to. I mean, you said it yourself: He quotes the Bible to good effect. Hence, I figured, he must be some kind of a gloomy doomy Baudelaire-esque figure with a rose across his chest. I mean, jeez, look at his PHOTOGRAPH. Look at his NAME. "CAVE." Darkness falls, etc., as it were.

Then I heard Hee-Haw, did NOT like it at all, graduated to Tender Prey and was only marginally more impressed. I was looking for a Gothic man with Gothic proportions and got a lot of tinny snarky distortion for my effort. Six months later, I bought this album on a lark.

As usual, artists earn my approval when they fulfill my preconceived notions of them. Same happened to Joy Division with Closer, man. Tsk, tsk. So sad.

This here LP is a dark, gorgeous, Victorian, weepy. . . well, CAVE-rnous 77-minute masterpiece of emotional struggle in the face of oncoming inevitability. Rare it is in ANY decade, let alone the Zeros, for a rock and roller to successfully cast himself as a classical romantic dark man from yesteryear, but Cave does it, horrific singing voice and all. Rarely have I run across an album whose title and cover art PERFECTLY match what's inside. Death, flowers, and oncoming oblivion, both of an apocalyptic and personal nature. I'm not much of a fan of the title track, but beauty tracks like "God is in the House," "Sweetheart Come," "Love Letter," "We Came Along This Road" and especially the closer, "Darker With the Day" prove the Caveman's an "even" better balladeer than a rocker, whether one understands the lyrics or no. (I actually am not a big fan of his "rocking" material, but that's just me.) And "The Sorrowful Wife" contains one of the most shocking transitions from deep depression to fire and thunder outside of the Smashing Pumpkins. Yeah. THOSE pumpkins.

And dude! DUDE!! I RECOGNIZE "As I Sat Sadly By Her Side"!! God knows from where. Probably some indie movie.

Wottan album. And it's only the second one of his I've heard. Only minus? The man plainly can't sing. Just something I'll have to get used to, I guess. Give it a 9 1/2 out of 10. And a Jolly Rancher.

In conclusion, Mandy Moore's self-titled album's a lightweight affair, but not without its highlights. Enjoyabilities include the hits "Crush," "Cry," and the non-hits "Yo-Yo" and "Split Chick," plus the opener (yeah, THAT one). I give it an 8 and look forward to the day when the Mickey Mouse Cl


Ebony Cloud <> (31.12.2003)

Still, you have to admit it's impressive that it took 23 years for the worst Nick Cave album ever, and in the mean time the lowest is the same 10, he's certainly never terrible, or atrocious, and isn't that saying something, over a 23 year period. This guy is good, and rather adequete if you ask me. Warren Ellis is the key to me on this album, and when I saw the band live it was Ellis that blew me away. When I saw the band live, they played a whole two songs off this album that they were supporting, 'Wonderful Life' and 'Bring It On', and no 'Babe I'm On Fire', a song that I don't actually mind at all, even if it's overbearing sometimes (listen to it in a good mood and you might get a little more entertained). This is the worst Cave album so far, and deserves about a 10, that's a 6 in my mind, Cave being a 4 star artist and all.

As for the concert, it blew me away, although my Father told me that last year's Cave concert was significantly better. This years was almost a greatest hits live show, I didn't mind at all. 'Red Right Hand', 'Tupelo', 'Mercy Seat', 'Deanna', 'The Good Son', 'Papa Won't Leave You Henry', 'Christina The Astonishing', 'Do You Love Me', 'Stagger Lee', 'Into My Arms', 'Hallelujah', 'God Is In The House', 'Oh My Lord'... it was a greatest hits setlist, and it made the crowd go off. A guy had to be taken down by five or six security guards near me. And he fought pretty hard, it was kinda worrying and worst of all it was right in the middle of Hallelujah, which is one of my favourite modern Cave songs. Oh well, the show was amazing, and Ellis just blew me away, he plays like a madman, I heavily recommend the God Is In The House DVD to see him in action.


Alexey Provolotsky <> (13.09.2005)

That’s a masterpiece, mister. I haven’t heard all the Bad Seeds’ recordings, but I’ve no doubt this one is their very very best. It has everything that one can desire from Nick Cave. The guy can’t top it, he can only make an album of equal quality (which I seriously doubt). In fact, I love this record so much, I’m gonna write a description of every song on it. The thing deserves it.

The Abattoir Blues section.

“Get Ready For Love”. Since the very first second (Cave’s powerful scream) you understand that this would be no shit. The song is immensely driving and memorable. When did Nick put so much energy in a song last? Seems long ago.

“Cannibal’s Hymn”. Here Nick delivers a gentle ballad on a cruel topic. Very beautiful singing (especially in the chorus, which is very catchy).

“Hiding All Away”. Now listen. If I ever were to make a list of the most powerful moments in music history, the mind-boiling screaming “THERE IS A WAR COMING!” at the end of this song would be up there. The song itself is very solid. One can call it monotonous, but one won’t, since those shattering instrumental breaks happen from time to time. Brilliant!

“Messiah Ward”. Another soft spot of the album. It’s a gorgeous track with God-like piano and lovely-sung “it’s been a strange, strange day”. And there it goes, my favourite track of the first CD:

“There She Goes, My Beautiful World”. Jesus, he is unstoppable. The song generates so much power and energy, it’s unforgivable. Show us some mercy, Mr. Cave. The refrain of this song has to be one of the most unforgettable refrains you'll ever have an opportunity to hear. Show us some mercy, Mr. Cave!!

“Nature Boy”. At last, a simply great pop rocker. The song is catchy and easily accessible (it’s not hard to see why it was chosen to be the single). I absolutely dig those short guitar breaks after every line of the chorus. They may be nothing special, but I love them nevertheless. Okay, let’s move on.

“Abattoir Blues”. A great case of a song being great just thanks to being solid. I’d call it a pretty ballad with loud drums. It’s probably not very memorable, not very complex, but it’s still very solid. The atmosphere is dark and gloomy, and that’s the point. And I love that point.

“Let The Bells Ring”. One more beauty. Very romantic and emotional vocal delivery. But what really make the song are those sad guitar lines. Do they break my heart!

“Fable Of The Brown Ape”. This weird tale is surely an amusing thing. It goes gently in the verses (with some bizarre background noises; cackle, I guess), but when it comes to the chorus, it’s blood, blood and more blood.

The Lyre Of Orpheus section.

“The Lyre Of The Orpheus”. Starts the second CD on a very high note. On the one hand, you hear a monotonous ballad with quite a big number of samey verses, on the other hand, you hear an absolutely charming tale with a very lovely melody. And that second hand surely cuts off the first one. “OH MAMMA!”

“Breathless”. This is a gorgeous upbeat love ballad. Nothing to add. Catchy, catchy, catchy!

“Babe You Turn Me On”. Would you believe that the album’s weakest cut is actually a song that won’t be out of place on your (and my, too) beloved The Boatman’s Call? It is so. No, no, it’s a nice little song (with a gentle hook), just not very spectacular.

“Easy Money”. Now this is a definite classic. Heartbreaking singing and melody, fantastic piano playing, very pleasantly sad atmosphere. A true highlight! Man, it’s so saaad…

“Supernaturally”. It’s a great energetic rocker that may not be the strongest rocker on this release, but in between all these ballads it’s more than welcome.

“Spell”. And out of hellish fury right into heaven-like beauty. This dreamy ballad will do everything to make your heart melt. It’s that nice.

“Carry Me”. Not any less nice. Another relaxing song with great background (I believe it’s violin) and amazingly emotional singing. Not forgetting the memorable chorus, of course.

“O Children”. If I could say something about this song, I would go ahead and tell you. But I’m at a real loss now. It’s, like, the greatest song of this miserable century. Just take it for granted. It’s perfect. The amount of emotional impact this song offers you makes me wonder: How could he?..

All in all, it’s an ultimate Cave experience and you’ll be a fool to miss it. Praise him!

I would like it to be his last record. But I still want more. Well, let's live and see what happens.

Return to the main index page