CAVE &THE BAD SEEDS
LYRE OF ORPHEUS
ALBUM MUTE, EMI, ANTI RELEASE:
SEPTEMBER 20, 2004, OCTOBER 28,
2004 (USA) REVIEW: OCTOBER
Right on the heels of "Nocturama",
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds have
decided to release a new double album,
which is a dangerous choice to make.
Double albums tend to become the dreaded
"concept" album, but fortunately
it works for the most part here.
Blixa Bargeld has departed the band
and this new pair of albums does indeed
have a recognizable chunk of the sound
missing. In its place is a disturbingly
mainstream almost AM radio leaning.
"Abattoir Blues" is fairly
high tempo with the first song "Get
Ready for Love" screaming out
of the gate. There are some excellent
songs on this first disc, most notably,
"Cannibal's Hymn", "Hiding
All Away", "There She Goes,
My Beautiful World" and "Let
the Bells Ring". These songs
are Nick and company at their maniacal,
paranoid best. Powerful and yet graceful.
The second disc "The Lyre of
Orpheus" is where things get
a bit sketchy. The title track is
a nightmarish tale and features a
sound which I can only describe as
sharecropper's vibe. Very deep South
and Antebellum in nature. This song
is amazing. Simply amazing.
After this, however, are a pair of
songs which I am ashamed Nick and
his gang could ever write: the syrupy,
and the revoltingly fetid "Babe,
You Turn Me on". I don't know
if they thought this was clever or
wry to do, but christ, these tracks
And then there's the somewhat disjointed
Leonard Cohen-esque "Easy Money"
wherein Nick opines about the nasty
nature of something I have no doubt
he is well sated with: cold, hard
cash. It just doesn't ring true at
all and it is pretty standard lyrical
fare. Not what he is capable of. "Spell"
is somewhat of a return to form and
the end track "O Children"
is both optimistic and almost celebratory
about the nature of one's mortality.
Why the B-side for the "Nature
Boy" single, the rollicking and
smashingly stunning "She's Leaving
You" was not included instead
of one of the more useless tracks
is indeed a mystery.
Nick, I'm still a big fan. But you're
starting to worry me.