Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
Oct 5, 2019
After mulling over this album over the last two days, giving it ample time to grow and soak into me, I cannot help but be beyond impressed by this breathtaking piece of music, one of which could only be expected from a genius mind like Nick Cave.

I took a long road down Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds albums earlier this year and found that the music consistently got better and better. Nick Cave was visibly taking elements from his music, transforming them and making something vastly new and different. You could see each album borrowing from the last and either doing something similar to a previous release but expanding on it or simply reinventing the Nick Cave wheel.

Then the 2010s rolled around and Nick Cave returned from Dig!!! Lazurus Dig!!! five years later with an all new, atmospheric and ambient style of music that for me clicked like nothing he had done previously. Of course the classic albums reserve the right to be praised, but there was just something mystifying and moving to albums like Push The Sky Away and Skeleton Tree. This continued with the theme of growth, with Nick Cave taking the elements of Push The Sky Away on Skeleton Tree, elaborating on them, and making an utter classic.

I was unsure if a return from The Bad Seeds was in the cards, but certainly didn't expect it for this year. Whatever release it might have been, I was sure to be mystified once again - whether or not we saw a new Nick Cave or an improved Nick Cave.

What we received is in Ghosteen is without a doubt the perfect follow up to the 2016 release Skeleton Tree. Where Skeleton Tree felt broken, dreary and heavy, Ghosteen is brimming with a lightness that carries throughout the entirety of the album. The general vibe feels so consistent throughout that it keeps the listener at a perfect feeling throughout the listening experience. Of course, like any Nick Cave album, themes of grief and pain are ever-present, and why shouldn't they be given the experiences of Nick Cave? But there is almost a finality to these feelings of pain, Nick Cave coming to a full acceptance and even embrace with the grief he's experienced. As a listener, you feel every feeling along with the music; an accomplishment that can never be understated.

Musically, this is just as perfect as the previous releases over the last decade. The ambience and encompassing sound throughout sets the tone and blends with the voice of Nick Cave like nothing ever has. Whenever I return to old Nick Cave, it just astounds me how effective this style of music works with his harsh tone. Its graceful, it's sincere, it's brimming in impact and emotion.

Many NIck Cave & The Bad Seeds fans would consider the holy trinity of their music to be Let Love In, Murder Ballads and The Boatman's Call. Two decades later I would argue that Nick Cave has outdid that holy trinity and then some. Along with this, Skeleton Tree and Ghosteen is unquestionably one of the most essential pairing of albums I've ever experienced. All I can say is, thank god for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Favorite track: Leviathan
1 Comment
Oct 6, 2019
Great review!
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