Cave's dark love

Issue 

Cave's dark love

Let Love In

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Reviewed by Nick Fredman

Nick Cave, the dark preacher of rock and roll, and his loyal disciples the Bad Seeds have released a new work. Musically and lyrically it breaks little new ground for the group — in fact being very much a continuation of last year's Henry's Dream — except perhaps in reaching new depths of darkness and despair.

There's the familiar blend of the Bad Seed's twisted country and warped blues and Cave's growling vocals. Some tracks are slower and darkly atmospheric, such as "Nobody's Baby Now" and "Ain't Gonna Rain No More", while others are faster and grungier, with screeching guitars and swirling organs, such as "Jangling Jack" and "Thirsty Dog".

Cave's recurring lyrical motifs — failed love, perverted love, God, Jesus, Satan, death, violence, grimy city streets etc — predominate. These can be entertaining if not taken too seriously, but sometimes Cave is too much to handle: "Well I've been bound and gagged and I've been terrorised/ And I've been castrated and I've been lobotomised/ But I've never had my tormentor come in such a cunning disguise" (from "I let love in").

Nick Cave, poet of capitalist alienation, or pseudo-arty wanker? Or both? Decide for yourself.