Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen
Oct 4, 2019
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 length, it's a double album, the first half consisting of shorter songs then the second consisting of 2 long songs (12 and 14 minutes respectively). It is a long listen, especially compared to their previous release, but god does it stay engaging throughout.

This album feels like the sequel to Skeleton Tree, the album speaks about death and longing, but also talks about being together and loving people, it's both sides of the coin, that wasn't touched on in Skeleton Tree. Look at this album as a Carrie and Lowell while Skeleton Tree is a more A Crow Looked at Me. Skeleton Tree is very grieving and sad, and overall a hard listen while this has a more hopeful outlook while being vaguer in its lyricism as to make it feel more relatable in a sense, you can feel yourself in this album while with Skeleton Tree you're more looking in on a scene.

Lyrically once again this album shines, of course it would, it's Nick Cave. Nick Cave is an amazing lyricist and honestly one of the best I've heard, the way he describes things and uses these metaphors to portray scenery is amazing, and makes the whole thing a lot more vivid, it feels like I'm being told a story that I'm in, his vocals help too, his quite calm sounding voice, it all comes together to make a wonderful experience I've yet to feel with another album this year, and I'm glad for that.

I would like to speak about the 2 separate sides too, respectively. Side one, which I'm gonna dub The Children, as that's what Nick Cave himself has claimed it as, is setting the scene for where we are, the entire story feels fantastical and quite wonderful but it does follow on from Skeleton Tree for sure, with similar sounds and similar vocal styles, very poetically spoken lyrics. He uses this to tell us a darker tale about god-fearing folk in a "kingdom" of sorts, I would assume that Ghosteen is another name for either The Holy Spirit or God himself. This would make sense in how Nick Cave described the album also, Side one is The Children, Side two is The Parents. Thus dubbing Ghosteen as a higher being would make sense as "a parent". Anyway the second half of the album, The Parents is a lot more hopeful to start with, it's a lot more musical and more powerful. All three of the songs each have their own power to them, and each of them beautiful in their own ways.

I want to touch on one specific line from Ghosteen (the title track) that really hit me, "Baby bear has gone, to the moon, on a boat" this line alone conveys so much emotion and just grief that it's almost too much. One single line. This album is a powerful one for sure and honestly, I don't know if anything will beat this as my aoty, looking at you Swans and HANL. Goodnight. I love you all, thanks.
Oct 4, 2019
Surely the Ghosteen he refers to is Arthur Cave. I see the lyrics to the title track as him coming to terms with living without him, while also feeling that he is always with him.
Oct 4, 2019
I didn't even think of that, that could be the case for sure, it's all up for interpretation
Oct 4, 2019
I see the line "Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep, if I stay all night and talk" as him communicating to his dead son. I read an article that was posted last year where Nick Cave was asked by a fan whether he and his wife felt Arthur still communicated to them in some way, and he responded in short that he did hear him talk to him even though he may not be there.
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