Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
Critic Score
Based on 36 reviews
2019 Ratings: #2 / 771
Year End Rank: #3
User Score
2019 Ratings: #18
Liked by 52 people
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The Guardian

On one level, it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s as good as it is ... Nevertheless, listening to Ghosteen, it’s very hard indeed not to be taken aback.

The Telegraph

A long, sad, brooding mediation on grief, the 17th album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is simultaneously their loveliest and most terrible.


‘Ghosteen’ is one of the most devastatingly accurate accounts of grief that you’ll ever listen to. Yet it’s also, astoundingly, one of the most comforting.

The Line of Best Fit

Cave has written affectingly about love before, but it’s never felt so profound as this; rather than revelling in love, he is audibly clinging to it for dear life.

The Independent

Following the traumatised chaos of 2016’s Skeleton Tree, Ghosteen is a warm cloud of ambient solace – a sonic evocation of the communion he has experienced through his newly porous relationship with his audience.


Ghosteen may be the biggest boon to his mythical career yet; it’s another masterpiece that will forever be enshrined in his ever-growing legacy. Absolute perfection.

The Observer

In the first album wholly written since the death of his son, Cave reaches an extraordinary, sad and beautiful artistic evolution.

A.V. Club

What Cave sends us from this new place is remarkable. Ghosteen is both his most solitary recording since 2001’s No More Shall We Part and impossible to imagine without the contributions of The Bad Seeds.

Consequence of Sound

The simplicity is mesmerizing, inviting us into meditation as light piano pieces and sparse, melodic lines weave through an omnipresent haze shimmering with feathery light.


Yes, it can be painful, but there’s a beautiful catharsis contained within Ghosteen that makes it one of the most essential records of recent times – a lifejacket for anyone surfing that dreadful wave of grief.

Spill Magazine

Ghosteen is music that impresses upon the soul.


A piece of work that’s difficult but hopeful, full of darkness but supplier of enough light to illuminate its every square inch. One that’s gentle yet staggering, beautiful yet devastating.

Under The Radar

Ghosteen is an almost supernaturally wonderful record. It is, perhaps, the ultimate Nick Cave album—yet somehow unlike anything he has done before.


Another open letter straight from artist to audience that cuts right to the core of what means to have loved, lost and loved again.

Crack Magazine

On Ghosteen Cave seems more vital than ever, a master of his craft who has taken the immense nature of grief and channelled it into an album that burns with beauty.

Loud and Quiet

There’s an embarrassment of riches here, and emotional gut punches land hard and fast from the outset.

Slant Magazine

On Ghosteen, Cave doesn’t offer any answers, but there’s comfort to be found in keeping the questions open-ended.

FLOOD Magazine

Everything might be as distant as the stars. But Nick Cave, on Ghosteen, makes empathy and elegy seem so near and touchable.

Rolling Stone

His latest ... seems like a broader, and altogether more stunning reaction to losing his son.

Spectrum Culture

Ghosteen takes years of hurt, sorrow and reflection and releases them in an astonishing double-album, one of the most challenging and most beautiful of Cave’s career.


Ghosteen sounds like the musings of a handful of lost souls, each trapped in their own barren prairie with memories that soothe and ache at once, and its power is overwhelming while the volume is low-key.


The anguish a parent feels for losing their child is harrowing and Ghosteen masterfully captures Nick Cave's grief and spiraling rumination on mortality.


The beauty of Ghosteen is the way it inhabits the darkness and still manages to harvest optimism. It is extreme stuff, singular in its design, ruthless in its execution.


Forty years into his career, Nick Cave emerges with one of his most powerful albums yet, an endlessly giving and complex meditation on mortality and our collective grief.


Often, listening to Ghosteen feels like attending a surreal, freewheeling wake.


Despite a few questionable experimental moments (that simply make the albums more Bad Seeds-eque) the highlights soar to towering heights, making the piece a triumph.

Northern Transmissions
It’s an intriguing, somewhat beguiling listen and, surprise or not, an infinitely beautiful, heartbreaking album that only a master can create.
It's a monolithic record: immense, imposing and impossible to fully comprehend with a single listen.
God Is in the TV

It’s a strange, beautifully bewildering record that I’m finding equally bewildering and enchanting.

The Needle Drop

By virtue of its moving vocal performances and lyricism, Ghosteen is among Nick Cave's finest statements—even if its sound design often leaves something to be desired.

EDITED: some heavy personal stuff; just a warning

Here I am typing this up when I should be typing up a Literature essay... Typical me.

I'm honestly amazed. I was surprised to hear we would be getting another Nick Cave album so soon (?) after Skeleton Tree. Honestly, I wouldn't have been too surprised to hear that was to be he and the Bad Seeds' last. However, Ghosteen is here, and it's nothing short of stunning. It picks up right where Skeleton Tree left off in its bare and haunting ... read more
Ghosteen, man...I am absolutely stunned. It's fascinating to see that even in the darkest, most devastating, hopeless and troublesome of situations, there is still light at the end of the tunnel. In the case of Nick Cave, the pain endured from the tragic loss of a son remains forever, but learning to love again and seeing the existential beauty of it all is what keeps everything in motion. Not everyone gets that experience. Some people are stuck where they are, cast underneath a dark shadow. ... read more
adults see ghosts
The clouds part on ‘Skeleton Tree’s existential despair and give way to existential acceptance.

This album sounds like the universe smiling, and then blinking, as humanity’s brief moment sparks and fades.
I'm gonna write one more review before I sleep, because I think I have my current aoty.

Ghosteen is an amazing album, when I first went into it I didn't expect to be blown away to such an extent, but god this is beautiful. From front to back, this thing delivers such a sweet and serene vibe that I haven't heard from anything else this year. To put it simply this album sounds like the cover looks, it feels like a fantastical forest and it's as beautiful as it looks. The album is over an hour in ... read more
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Added on: September 23, 2019