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Key Tracks: "We No Who U R," "Jubilee Street," "Higgs Boson Blues"
Picture this: A dark room, a stage with a single light and a poet pouring out his heart. That is the vibe Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ latest album, Push the Sky Away, gives off. The album is mellow but full of emotion and passion at the same time. It takes listeners to a dark place where they mull over sex, life and death.
While Push the Sky Away makes listeners feel as if they are listening to a poetry reading, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are far from angsty teenage boys on stage with their books of Keats or Blake. The album is relaxed without lacking complexity. It’s complex without being chaotic.
The complexity starts in the instruments. The group takes the basic drums, groovy bass line, and hypnotic guitar parts and combines them with electronic noise and the haunting sound of a violin. Add in the hushed background vocals and you have the smoldering coals beneath the fire that is Nick Cave.
Nick Cave’s voice is the main focus throughout the entire album. Though the music itself grabs the listener's attention, it does not distract from Cave’s vocals. His voice sounds less like a fire and brimstone preacher and more like an eerie hypnotist.
Choosing songs that really stand out is hard. They all stand out. There isn’t one song that the album could do without. Each song is a unique piece that pulls the album together. Though the highlights of this would have to be “We No Who U R,” “Jubilee Street” and “Higgs Boson Blues.”
“We No Who U R” is the first track, and it sets the tone of the rest of the album. The intricacy of the song is not only in the music, but also in the way the music affects listeners' emotions. The song is creepy, like in the way insane asylums are creepy, but comforting at the same time. Cave and the murmurs from the background singers are like the voices inside the listener's head. “We know who you are / And we know where you live / And we know there’s no need to forgive.”
“Jubilee Street” continues the dark, creepy vibe. The entire six-minute song is about the writer’s obsession with a girl with a little black book and the sexual tension he has toward her. Only Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds can make a song that pervy still sound beautiful.
Then there's “Higgs Boson Blues.” O.K., so, this one is not actually that great. That’s the point, though. The song is more of a comedic relief to the dark brooding of the rest of the album. It mentions Hannah Montana, Robert Johnson and Lucifer. Nothing else needs to be said.
Overall Push the Sky Away is a complicated album with an unexpectedly beautiful combination of instruments that enhance just how creepy Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds can be. And that’s perfectly okay.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ latest album is mellow takes you to a dark place where you mull over sex, life and death.
To get the full experience of reading this album review, please read it out loud in your best pirate voice.
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