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 review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food