I think that the new Nick Cave album deserves a little more than ‘there’s a new one out, it’s really good’. Just listened and it is. If you count the two Birthday Party albums (or swap these out for Grinderman 1 and 2) it is his twentieth studio album, over a forty-one year career. Time perhaps to take stock.
Firstly, as a singer-songwriter the company he is keeping now is surely the very first rank: Dylan, Young, Bowie, Prince, Cohen, Mitchell, Morrison, Springsteen, King. He might only sell a fraction of the records these folk did (and Cohen was hardly a radio-friendly unit shifter) but since when has that mattered? Personally, as a post-punk child, I would place his twenty albums above Cohen and King, and though very different the equal of Mitchell, Morrison and Springsteen. I am aware these are some of the Aword’s holiest sites, but hey hear me out.
Secondly, the consistency. Twenty albums in and has he made a genuinely bad album? A few tread water definitely – Henry’s Dream and Nocturama are perhaps the first that come to mind. The Lyre of Orpheus/Abbatoir Dreams is certainly divisive. Some opt for the Cave descending into » Continue Reading.