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Alternative & Indie - Released September 9, 2016 | Bad Seed Ltd

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 3, 2019 | Ghosteen Ltd

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 16, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With this February 1996 album, Nick Cave took up his role as the bipolar preacher, caught between sin and redemption. Half goth-punk Johnny Cash, half infernal Lee Hazlewood, the brains of the Bad Seeds, a crooner to the core, told his stories of death, betrayal, sex, violence and passion... His cavernous voice and his Biblical pen fascinated fans. Behind him, the Bad Seeds were knitting together a blood-red score, a cocktail of blues and jazz on ghostly pianos, disquieting guitars and martial percussions. This is a Nick Cave in full Nosferatu mode, and he even has a couple of virgins to snack on: his double, PJ Harvey, on Henry Lee, and his compatriot Kylie Minogue for an erotic thriller entitled Where The Wild Roses Grow. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 5, 2017 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds remain one of the most prolific adventures of the post-punk era. Since the middle of the 1980s, the vast magnetism of the Australian singer has swirled through violent paroxysms, fulminating covers, piano ballads and sweaty rock'n'roll. Across many years and many recordings, Cave became more and more of a crooner, somewhere between a punk Sinatra and an austere Johnny Cash. This impeccable compilation, published in Spring 2017 not only allows the listener to get a sense of the length of the road they have travelled, but also to enjoy an excellent introduction to the art of this gang that stands apart from contemporary rock. The 45 songs of this Deluxe edition are spread out between three periods: fifteen titles dug out from between 1984 and 1993, fifteen others from between 1994 and 2003 and a final fifteen selected from between 2004 and 2013... Starting with From Her To Eternity (1984) and going up to Push The Sky Away (2013), Lovely Creatures offers a perfect mix of poisonous ballads (Into My Arms), rollocking epics (The Mercy Seat), stripped-down, violent rock (Deanna), apocalyptic cabaret (The Carny), unexpected duets (Where The Wild Roses Grow with Kylie Minogue)  and selected covers. (In The Ghetto). Nestled between the Gothic prose of American authors of the 20th Century, the musical heritage of giants like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, Nick Cave has found his own style, often chambrist, but always sombre and possessed by the spirit of the Old Testament... © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 29, 2010 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
With guitarist/keyboardist Roland Wolf and Cramps/Gun Club veteran Kid Congo Powers on guitar added to the ranks, along with guest appearances from old member Hugo Race, the Seeds reached 1988 with their strongest album yet, the insanely powerful, gripping Tender Prey. Rather than simply redoing what they'd already done, Nick Cave and company took their striking musical fusions to deeper and higher levels all around, with fantastic consequences. The album boldly starts out with an undisputed Cave masterpiece -- "The Mercy Seat," a chilling self-portrait of a prisoner about to be executed that compares the electric chair with the throne of God. Queasy strings from a Gini Ball-led trio and Mick Harvey's spectral piano snake through a rising roar of electric sound -- a common musical approach from many earlier Seeds songs, but never so gut-wrenching as here. Cave's own performance is the perfect icing on the cake, commanding and powerful, excellently capturing the blend of crazed fear and righteousness in the lyrics. Matching that high point turns out to be impossible for anything else on Tender Prey, but more than enough highlights take a bow that demonstrates the album's general quality. "Deanna" is another great blast from the Seeds, a garage rock-style rave-up that lyrically is everything Natural Born Killers tried to be, but failed at -- killing sprees, Cadillacs, and carrying out the work of the Lord, however atypically. The echoing, gentle-yet-rough sonics on the Blind Willie Johnson-inspired "City of Refuge" and the gentler drama of "Sugar Sugar Sugar" also do well in keeping the energy level up. On the quieter side, Cave indulges his penchant for gloomy piano-led ballads throughout, and quite well at that, with such songs as "Watching Alice," "Mercy," and the end-of-the-evening singalong "New Morning." "Sunday's Slave" has a beautifully brooding feeling to it thanks to the combination of acoustic guitar and piano, making it a bit of a cousin of Scott Walker's "Seventh Seal." © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 16, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

Murder Ballads brought Nick Cave's morbidity to near-parodic levels, which makes the disarmingly frank and introspective songs of The Boatman's Call all the more startling. A song cycle equally inspired by Cave's failed romantic affairs and religious doubts, The Boatman's Call captures him at his most honest and despairing -- while he retains a fascination for gothic, Biblical imagery, it has little of the grand theatricality and self-conscious poetics that made his albums emotionally distant in the past. This time, there's no posturing, either from Cave or the Bad Seeds. The music is direct, yet it has many textures, from blues to jazz, which offer a revealing and sympathetic bed for Cave's best, most affecting songs. The Boatman's Call is one of his finest albums and arguably the masterpiece he has been promising throughout his career. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 18, 2013 | Bad Seed Ltd

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It's been nearly five years since Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds issued the manic, intense rock cabaret that was Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! Since then, the formation and breakup of Grinderman yielded two studio offerings, and Cave and Warren Ellis have composed a few film scores. Push the Sky Away, produced by Nick Launay, is painted with a deliberately limited sonic palette by Ellis. The album's sequencing makes it feel like a long, moody suite. While most of these songs contain simple melodies and arrangements that offer the appearance of vulnerability and tenderness, it is inside this framework that they eventually reveal their sharp fangs and malcontent. Opener -- and first single -- "We No Who U R" is reminiscent of "Your Funeral, My Trial" in its intent, but musically Ellis' sparse loops, flute, and a backing vocal chorus lend it an elegiac feel that belies the threat in the lyric. "Water's Edge," with its rumbling bassline, eerie piano, and Ellis' droning violin loops, is more overt in its sinister menace. Its protagonist, full of rage at seeing the dance of romance among the young, warns: "It's the will of love/It's the thrill of love/It's the chill of love/Comin' on." "We Real Cool" uses that thrumming bassline too. Instantly taut, one awaits an explosion that never arrives -- musically. Here, and elsewhere on this recording, the listener is exhorted to walk an emotional tightrope between the human qualities in Cave's characters as speaking subjects and the more distasteful, disgusting traits that make them objects of repulsion. He doesn't judge. "Finishing Jubilee Street" features Ellis' electric guitar in bluesy resonance as it drones atop a strummed 12-string acoustic before layered strings begin marching toward a dramatic catharsis. "Higgs Boson Blues," the set's longest cut, uses the drum kit and electric guitars in a similarly long, formless blues that displays Cave in near rant mode; his black humor is evident inside sociological observations with Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana as characters. "Mermaids" employs humor too; from the start nearly obscene, it moves beyond its joke and becomes both a love song and a romantic elegy about the disappearance of the place of myth in Western spiritual life. Cave's protagonist believes in them all and laments them like an abandoned lover. The title track rises from the ether, driven by guest (and former Bad Seed) Barry Adamson's bassline and Ellis' eerie organ, which takes the foreground. It's a paean of determination in the face of grievous loss. Push the Sky Away is the first Bad Seeds record without Mick Harvey; the inherent lyricism and relative lushness in his musical arrangements are missed here. Despite excellent songs, this album feels more like an extension of Cave and Ellis' cinematic work than a classic Bad Seeds record. The sonic sea change is deliberate; but historically, given their vastly musical nature, this more economical approach is jarring, though seductive. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 18, 2013 | Bad Seed Ltd

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Rock - Released December 21, 2009 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Rock - Released May 16, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

Keeping the same line-up from Henry's Dream, Nick Cave and company turn in yet another winner with Let Love In. Compared to Henry's Dream, Let Love In is something of a more produced effort -- longtime Cave boardsman Tony Cohen oversees things, and from the first track, one can hear the subtle arrangements and carefully constructed performances. Love, unsurprisingly, takes center stage of the album. Besides concluding with a second part to "Do You Love Me?," two of its stronger cuts are the (almost) title track "I Let Love In," and "Loverman," an even creepier depiction of lust's throttling power so gripping that Metallica ended up covering it. On the full-on explosive front, "Jangling Jack" sounds like it wants to do nothing but destroy sound systems, strange noises and overmodulations ripping throughout the song. The Seeds can always turn in almost deceptively peaceful performances as well, of course -- standouts here are "Nobody's Baby Now," with a particularly lovely guitar/piano line, and the brooding drama of "Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore." The highlight of the album, though, has little to do with love and everything to do with the group's abilities at music noir. "Red Right Hand" depicts a nightmarish figure emerging on "the edge of town," maybe a criminal and maybe something more demonic. Cave's vicious lyric combines fear and black humor perfectly, while the Seeds' performance redefines "cinematic," a disturbing organ figure leading the subtle but crisp arrangement and Harvey's addition of a sharp bell ratcheting up the feeling of doom and judgment. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 16, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Rock - Released November 17, 2014 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Rock - Released March 29, 2010 | Mute, a BMG Company

Losing Wolf, aside from the final reprise of "Lucy," but otherwise making no changes in the line-up, the Seeds followed up Tender Prey with the equally brilliant but generally calmer Good Son. At the time of its release there were more than a few comments that Cave had somehow softened or sold out, given how he was more intent on exploring his dark, cabaret pop stylings than his thrashy, explosive side. This not only ignored the constant examples of such quieter material all the way back to From Her to Eternity, but Cave's own constant threads of lyrical darkness, whether in terms of romance or something all the more distressing. This said, the softly crooning group vocals and sweet strings on the opening "Foi Na Cruz" certainly would catch some off guard. The title track itself captured the overall mood of the album, a retelling of the Bible's prodigal son story from the other son, the one who stayed at home and did what he was meant to do. The elegant, reflective "Lucy" and the staccato then sweeping "Lament" are two further high points, but the flat-out winners come dead center. "The Weeping Song," a magnificent duet between Cave and Bargeld, starts out sounding a bit like Gene Pitney's "Something's Gotta Hold of My Heart," which the Seeds covered on Pricks, before shading into its own powerful, blasted drama. "The Ship Song," meanwhile, equals if not overtakes the Scott Walker ballads Cave so clearly is inspired by, a soaring, tearjerking declaration of intense love that's simply amazing. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 27, 2009 | Mute, a BMG Company

Besides being noteworthy as an astonishingly good all-covers album, Kicking Against the Pricks is notable for the arrival of a new key member for the Seeds, drummer Thomas Wydler. Besides being a fine percussionist, able to perform at both the explosive and restrained levels Cave requires, Wydler also allowed Harvey to concentrate on adding guitar and keyboards live as well as in the studio, a notable bonus. Race reappears briefly to add some guitar while former Birthday Party cohorts Rowland Howard and Tracy Pew guest as well, the latter on some of his last tracks before his untimely death. The selection of songs is quite impressive, ranging from old standards like "Long Black Veil" to everything from John Lee Hooker's "I'm Gonna Kill That Woman" and Gene Pitney's pop aria "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart." Matching the range of material, the Seeds are well on their way to becoming the rock/cabaret/blues showband of Cave's dreams, able to conjure up haunting, winsome atmospheres ("Sleeping Annaleah") as much as higher-volume takes (Roy Orbison's "Running Scared," the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties"). The version of Leadbelly's "Black Betty" is particularly grand, Harvey's drumming driving the track with ominous power. This said, often holding everything back is the key, as the creepout build of "Hey Joe" demonstrates. Even more striking is how Cave's own vocals rebut the charges that all he ever does is overdramatize everything he sings -- consider the husky, purring delivery on Johnny Cash's "The Singer." Other winners include a masterful version of Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and the stately, album-closing "The Carnival Is Over," originally a mid-'60s hit for the Seekers. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 28, 2018 | Bad Seed Ltd

Recorded in Copenhagen on the band's Skeleton Tree tour, Distant Sky features four tracks from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' back catalog. Live favorites, "Mercy Seat" and "From Her to Eternity" are included, as well as the haunting "Distant Sky" from 2017's Skeleton Tree. © Rich Wilson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 2, 2013 | Bad Seed Ltd

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Rock - Released March 3, 2008 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Rock - Released March 29, 2010 | Mute, a BMG Company

Continuing the creative roll of Tender Prey and The Good Son, Henry's Dream showed the band in fierce and fine fettle once more. The biggest change was with the choice of producer -- David Briggs, famed for his work on some of Neil Young's strongest albums. While Cave later thought the experiment didn't work as well as he might have hoped, Briggs does a fine enough job, perhaps not letting the group's full intensity through but still capturing a live feel nonetheless. Cave himself offers up another series of striking, compelling lyrics again exploring love, lust and death. Here, though, some of his images are the strongest he's yet delivered, especially with the near apocalyptic "Papa Won't Leave You, Henry," which begins the album brilliantly as the narrator lurches through a landscape of storms, brothels and urban decay. Equally powerful, if slower and calmer, is Dream's lead single, "Straight to You," with Cave delivering a forceful declaration of love. It's the near equal of "The Ship Song," the same sense of beautiful sweep running free. Other numbers like "Brother, My Cup is Empty" and "I Had a Dream, Joe" showcase the Seeds' peerless abilities at fusing older styles with noisy aggression and tension. The former is especially strong, almost dripping with soft then loud musical drama. The quieter numbers aren't to be ignored, though, such as the string-laden "Christina the Astonishing" and especially "Loom of the Land." One of Cave's best songs ever, his portrait of a nighttime walk with a lover is Romantic with a capital R, with a sweet passion that matches the soothing performance from the Seeds, topped off with a particularly fine chorus. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released February 3, 2003 | Mute, a BMG Company

It is truly sad when artists with great vision and imagination, whose work is filled with power and beauty, just kind of lose it all at once. This could be the first record Nick Cave has made that feels like he is just doing it because it is his job to make records and be Nick Cave. Everything is predictable and sounds like something Cave has done before. The Bad Seeds' edges are smoothed over by the too-slick production; Cave's lyrics are not provocative or funny or much of anything worth hearing. "He Wants You" is a smooth and tired-sounding love song, "Still in Love" is a gothic love song with cheesy lyrics and some sickly singing, and "Wonderful Life" has a nice, slinky beat and a memorable melody that is ruined by generic lyrics. There are also a few surprises of an unpleasant nature on Nocturama: "Bring It On" sounds like alternative rock by-the-numbers; without Cave's vocals it could be the Wallflowers. This could be the first Bad Seeds track to sport a depressingly standard guitar solo over the fade. Longtime Cave fans may need to reach for the smelling salts after hearing it. There are also a couple of songs that revisit the old storm-and-bang days of the Birthday Party and early Bad Seeds. One might say these forays into noisy, aggressive post-punk are commendable or one could say he is treading water he puked out 20 years ago. Add to that the fact that the racing tempos, jagged guitars, and shouted vocals of "Dead Man in My Bed" and the seemingly endless "Babe, I'm on Fire" break up the somnambulant mood of the rest of the record. Actually, while it may be derivative of his glorious past, "Babe, I'm on Fire" is a welcome blast of energy; he should have made it 30 minutes long instead of ten and called it his new record. Apart from that track, Cave sounds like a writer on his 15th book with nothing much left to say, nothing left to do but go through the motions, phoning his performance in with a yawn. His fans should send him a message by leaving Nocturama (his worst record title ever) to gather dust on record store and warehouse shelves. His laziness and weak effort should not be rewarded with your hard-earned cash. © Tim Sendra /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 27, 2009 | Mute, a BMG Company

Nick Cave launched his solo career in style with From Her to Eternity, an accomplished album mixing the frenzy and power of his Birthday Party days with a dank, moody atmosphere that showed he was not interested in simply continuing what the older group had done. To be sure, Mick Harvey joined him from the Party days, as ever playing a variety of instruments, while one-time Party guest Blixa Bargeld now became a permanent Cave partner, splitting his time between the Bad Seeds and Einsturzende Neubaten ever since. The group took wing with a harrowing version of Leonard Cohen's "Avalanche," Cave's wracked, buried tones suiting the Canadian legend's words perfectly, and never looked back. From Her to Eternity is crammed with any number of doom-laden songs, with Cave the understandable center of attention, his commanding vocals turning the blues and rural music into theatrical exhibitionism unmatched since Jim Morrison stalked stages. Songs like "Cabin Fever," with its steadily paced drumming and relentless piano line, and the more restrained and moody "The Moon Is in the Gutter" sound like cabarets in hell. "In the Ghetto," already perfectly suited to such a treatment, shows the underlying sense of beauty that defines the Seeds as much as drama. Even though it's a Presley cover, the sense of Scott Walker's influence isn't far away at all. The title track is and remains a Bad Seeds classic, played at shows up through the present, a tense piano/organ beginning then accompanied by the edgy build of the band, pounding drums, stabbing feedback and keyboard parts and more. © Ned Raggett /TiVo