151. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Abattoir Blues & The Lyre of Orpheus”

There was a definite downward slide in quality over the last couple of Cave releases.  This album was pretty much make or break for me.

Album Cover Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Abattoir Blues & The Lyre of OrpheusAudaciously (or perhaps cautiously) Cave and his gang of conspirators choose to roll the dice twice by releasing a double album.

Double albums typically send up warning flags as they are the domain of the self-indulgent.  Thankfully this combo doesn’t venture too far in that direction, although there are a few tracks that would benefit from exile off to the land of b-sides.

Most importantly these CDs mark the return of the cocky, energetic, edgy Cave that produced the mid-1990s gems.  The songs have heavier rhythms and greater diversity of sounds. The piano is much less prominent. The use of female backing vocals and whopping riffs on Hiding All Away, for example, herald new confidence for the band, and fiddle fiend Warren Ellis finally makes his mark across multiple tracks.

Put simply there is just more good stuff versus dross.  There’s also supposedly some sort of Greek myth thread running through the second disk, but beyond the opener I’m missing it.

Irrespective, I’m just happy Cave refound his mojo…

File under: The knackery trip is cancelled

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