142. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “The Good Son”

I must apologise for my Axl Rose-like reclusiveness over the past month. I could blame spasmodic internet access in the US, but the justification lays more squarely at the feet of the pianist pictured.

Album Cover Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds The Good SonI have had the Domacles Sword of about ten consecutive Nick Cave reviews hanging over me since we hit California. This raised two large hurdles: (i) Cave just aint very California (the state being too sunny) and (ii) my missus (and travelling partner) has an aversion to much of Cave’s output matched only by her distaste for Jonathon Richman.

As such, this album has received only intermittent listens while stranded looking after the luggage and once on a long drive when nothing else on the iPod was cutting the mustard.

Which is a damn shame, because this is a very solid little release. This is one of the Cave opuses I would describe as “funny”. He clearly seems to having fun, and his tongue seems firmly in his cheek as he croons through a series of overly melodramatic and eerie tales.

This is Cave and crew as composers of some sort of twisted off-Broadway (I guess a long way off… maybe in the back streets of Berlin) musical. The music is rousing and atypically conventional. It leaves Cave’s unparalleled song-writing skills and surprisingly smooth vocals unobscured.

The playfulness is what makes me smile – from the Elvis swagger of Witness Song to Blixa’s role as father in Weeping Song.

Reportedly this album was preceded by Cave’s successful rehab from heroin and him getting some serious Brazilian loving. It stands as a strong advertisement for both.

There are very few weak tracks here, and several that are in the classic Cave category (the “Song” set – Weeping, Ship, Hammer, Witness and my favourite – the sway-worthy Lament).

Makes me glad to back in chilly, dreary Melbourne.

File under: Some worthwhile child-bearing

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