The Boatman's Call

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Boatman's Call
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
1997 Ratings: #5 / 76
User Score
Based on 238 ratings
1997 Ratings: #31
Liked by 5 people
March 3, 1997 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mute/Reprise / Label
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Nick Cave / Primary Artists / Website
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Even though The Boatman's Call is Cave's most confessional, open-hearted album, its sense of sorrow and catharsis transcends a strictly personal interpretation. It speak volumes about the album's universality that its songs have soundtracked everything from Michael Hutchence's funeral to Shrek 2.


It's a stark look at all that he's been through, recounted with withering bleakness and arid humour.


Here is his most famous album, "The Boatman's Call".

I might as well say it right away, I loved this album. I have nothing against musical restraint if it allows poetry to be heard. What Nick Cave certainly offers us in this intimate album. His love life is revealed like rose petals already a little faded, whose smell is now nothing more than a reminiscence, a buried memory.

An accomplished songwriter, close to the masters, ... read more
The Boatman's Call is the Nick Cave album I'd say is the easiest to get into with the stripped back and piano-driven instrumentals, and despite being nowhere as thrilling as some of the band's past work it still manages to be engaging and beautiful in its own way. Embracing Nick's softer side with the piano rock sound and yet again poetic lyrics, The Boatman's Call is still a fantastic album from Cave that is more intimate, personal and cathartic than his last few albums. It flows really well ... read more
Just like everything from the last few releases by The Bad Seeds, they continue to show how much they have been able to take a sound that is consistent and refine it even further. This album feels much like some of their previous work, but just on an even grander and intense scale.

This album is raw, personal, and emotional throughout and the tone of the album matches its content well. Nick Cave has an intimacy to his voice on this that drives that tone home, and everything really seems to ... read more
"The Boatman's Call" takes a Leonard Cohen-esque piano rock approach compared to "Let Love In" and "Murder Ballads", but it never sacrifices Nick Cave's signature poetic lyricism. The minimal approach is beautiful and the stories he tells are pretty depressing. Still, though, this is kinda what we know him for.

Fav Tracks: Into My Arms, People Ain't No Good, (Are You) the One That I've Been Waiting For?, There is a Kingdom, Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?, ... read more
This is my crying album.
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Year End Lists

#23/Consequence of Sound

Track List


  1. Into My Arms
  2. Lime Tree Arbour
  3. People Ain't No Good
  4. Brompton Oratory
  5. There Is a Kingdom
  6. (Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For?
  7. Where Do We Go Now but Nowhere?
  8. West Country Girl
  9. Black Hair
  10. Idiot Prayer
  11. Far from Me
  12. Green Eyes


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Added on: February 15, 2013