Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!"

Upon having first heard the title track, I wasn't sure how crazy I was about it. It seemed all right. Not great. All right. Now, I have the song stuck in my head. I feel like I walk everywhere to its cadence. My feelings on the record as a whole are very similar. At this point, it's following me around, not loosening its grip on my subconscious. The pounding, primal rhythms of "Dig...", "Night of the Lotus Eaters", and "We Call Upon the Author" are particularly infectious.

Generally speaking, this album is much more a rock album than the last ten years or so of Bad Seeds records--which Cave has attributed largely to Blixa's departure, who apparently hated doing things rock 'n' roll--and seems to have pressed forward in the direction that Cave & Co. seem to have gone with the Grinderman project. That's not a bad thing by any means. This feels like a fresh new album in an already formidable catalog. There is no retreading going on here. The mainstay piano has been jettisoned in favor of the organ, and when grouped with the odd semi-industrial (not NIN industrial, but sounds-of-a-factory industrial) percussive loops, you're given some riveting music. The violin is gone, too, leaving Warren Ellis to do God knows what. While those elements are surprisingly missing, the greatness of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds looks to be ever-present.

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