The four year gap between Cave’s previous album and this release was reportedly (at least partly) a result of Cave finally extracting himself from alcohol and heroin dependency. As I have said somewhere else on here, the result is not a strong endorsement of sobriety.
The pull of Cave and his buddies (for me) has always been the sense of danger and urgency in the music, the snide nature of the lyrics and the conspiratorial delivery thereof. This album is sadly lacking on these fronts.
It is a pretty straightforward outing. Very calm/beautiful backing with Cave shifting back and forth between borderline spoken-word and lounge-singer style delivery. It is all far to restrained and domestic. Too often it is Cave-by-numbers songwriting too. The frequency of the “pile the increasingly ridiculous rhymes high” approach is much higher than normal.
The album is far from a shocker however. The mid-album sequence of Love Letter, Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow, and the standout track God is the House are well worth it. The latter sees Cave at his humorous best, and spitting the couplets for good rather than evil.
File under: Parting is increasingly possible