Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Album Review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Let Love In

1994 saw the release of Let Love In, what I believe to be THE quintessential Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album.  Do You Love Me? opens the album and it's Cave and co on classic form, the operative question is not "do you love me" but - "do you love me like I love YOU".  It's a subtle difference, and for me it's the key to this track, as Thomas Wylder's drums march, Cave's piano tinkles, and Mick Harvey and Blixa Bargeld produce incidental guitar licks.

There is fire and brimstone contained here, Loverman is a full-on, guns blazing rave-up where Cave spells out his plea for L.O.V.E.  But there are some great Cave ballads here also, more refined than ever on Nobody's Baby Now, Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore and the title track.  Red Right Hand is another key song, creepy organ and pounded bells create a spooky atmosphere on the brightest of days, and there's a clever Neil Young steal in the lyrics ("you'll see him in your nightmares, you'll see him in your dreams" - Barstool Blues).

Jangling Jack is an unhinged pounder with Cave squealing and whooshing, and Thirsty Dog is another in a similar vein.  All the songs here are really strong.  In case the point was missed, the album finishes with a slowed-down Do You Love Me? (Part 2) arranged for strings.  It's a must-own if you like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.