Nick Cave aficionados will no doubt shaking their head in disgust that I have started my reviews mid-career. I own none of Cave’s earlier difficult works, despite having seen him play many of tracks of these albums (and relishing them)
Unlike his previous release, this album conjures up memories of such works, as it is much more chaotic and raucous. Cave takes on the psychotic ringmaster roll and as pounds out venom-filled lyrics over swellings waves of rhythms perfectly executed by the Seeds gang.
Tracks such as Loverman, Jangling Jack and Red Right Hand race along. The brilliance of Cave rests on his unwillingness to compromise lyrically. The imagery comes thick and fast, as does the humour. The slightly obscured “L is for… O is for…” lines on Loverman are pure brilliance.
This is a fantastically well-balanced album. For each such spine-jangler there is a slower, moody counterpart. Here Cave returns to the crooning, but with less of the showtuneyness of the last album. His Leonard Cohen-esque leanings show out on several tracks, most notably on Ain’t Gonna Rain Anymore.
I also am not sure I’ve heard an album with a better trio of opening tracks yet on my reviews.
File under: Worthy of our love