Album: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus, MUTE
Friday 17 September 2004
When is a double album not a double album? The not entirely persuasive answer is, apparently, when it's two separate albums that are only available for purchase together. Well, that's cleared that up. Taken together, though, Abattoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus may be Nick Cave's best work, in which his liberal use of gospel choir and the apocalyptic tone of songs such as "Get Ready For Love", "Hiding All Away" and "Abattoir Blues" are balanced on the second disc by the salvatory power of love in "Carry Me", the elegiac, anthemic closer "O Children", and "Babe You Turn Me On". On the latter, the delicate interplay of piano and guitar colours Cave's desire to escape a time when: "Everything is collapsing, dear/ All moral sense has gone/ It's just history repeating itself". Not that it's entirely mired in last-days religious fervour: the epic gospel-rock sweep of "There She Goes, My Beautiful World" finds a blocked Cave contemplating the methods other artists employ to trigger inspiration. Compared to the meagre offerings of most contemporary songwriters, this is a 10-course banquet: Cave's fund of classical, poetic and religious reference is fully stocked, and the Bad Seeds haven't played with quite this fire for many an album.
TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies
Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autism 'caused by genetics', study suggests
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
- 4 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Fifty Shades of Grey banned by Indian censors despite sex scenes being edited out
The 9 rules every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon had to follow are wonderfully pedantic
India's Daughter: BBC Four documentary provokes outrage on Twitter
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
The world's most beautiful libraries: Introducing Franck Bohbot's House of Books project
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'