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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
No More Shall We Part
Artist: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Label: Reprise Records
Length: 12 tracks/67:46
On his latest album
Nick Cave sounds older, more mature, and almost restrained. True, his ballads
have always dealt with
The Australian born
Cave has never received much commercial success in the United States. An
ill-conceived tour with
"No More Shall We Part"
ushers Nick Cave into the new Millennium with his strongest release since
the 1996 Murder
Then she drew the curtains
The strength of the first song is not a fluke. The album continues to amaze lyrically with its simple poignancy and straightforward delivery. "Hallelujah" recalls the parable of the prodigal son, this time returning to his nurse with "her hot cocoa and her medication." "Love Letter" is the story of a love letter, a simple but powerful ballad that balances sentimentality with the sometimes all-too-bleak reality of romance gone sour. Another outstanding track, "God is in the House," is a subtle yet powerful and scathing look at the formulas people employ to find God, peace or perfection.
Every song on this album has something to say, and the whole disc is well worth a few listens just to catch all the twists and turns. On "No More Shall We Part" Nick Cave demonstrates his mastery of lyric composition. Throughout the years he has struggled to write more simply yet deeply. Here he shows he can write simply and yet captures more depth than most pop artists will ever achieve in their entire careers. And he does it well, very well.
Musically, Nick Cave's backing band, The Bad Seeds, is a solid supporting group. The listener doesn't get the sense that anyone here is trying to steal the show with a rollicking guitar riff or over-powering drum track. This band fills in all the pieces exactly where they should go to provide a rich sound, yet similar to Cave's lyrics -- simple. There are no rockers on this album, and nothing here requires a prodigy to play, but the songs all have a texture that could not have just been thrown together. These Seeds may be Bad, but they work hard to sound good.
Make no mistake, this album is not entertainment, although the listener may certainly be entertained. No More Shall We Part is a work of art. As far as works of art go, it's certainly not the best, but it is good. This project is not for everyone, since it does not rock musically. But for those who enjoy thoughtful and insightful lyrics accompanied by simple, yet lush melodies, swing by your local music store and pick up this album. If they don't have it in stock, have them order it. You will not be disappointed.
June 16, 2001