Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Album Review: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads

1996's Murder Ballads seemed like a logical album for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds to end up recording.  Many of their previous songs could certainly be described as this.  In truth, this album is a bit hit and miss.  Song of Joy conjures a suitably macabre atmosphere to open the album, and this continues on the creeping Stagger Lee.  Many came to this album via the two duets.  PJ Harvey teams up with Cave to great effect on Henry Lee, while Kylie Minogue does equally well on Where The Wild Roses Grow.
Lovely Creature is a little Cave-by-numbers, and O'Malley's Bar is practically interminable at over fourteen minutes.  The Kindness of Strangers is tender and sadder, seeming to lay the path for where Cave would go next (The Boatman's Call).  Crow Jane has an almost jazz feel, while Bob Dylan's Death Is Not The End provides an appropriate finale.  So something of à hit and miss Nick Cave album then.