365 Days of Album Recommendations – June 12

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Let Love In

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At the center of any discussion around the achievements of Nick Cave sits this central truth—that to reach those great and rare moments of devastating artistry, one must be willing to risk horrible, ghastly, failures.

And this is the career of Nick Cave, in a nutshell. When he is great, he is frighteningly, bravely, fearlessly great. And when he is not great, he is embarrassingly terrible.

Your interest in, and appreciation of, the music of Nick Cave will inevitably hinge on how good you think his good is, vs. how unbearable you think his bad is.

I believe in his good music, because I will always take a brave musician over a careful one, provided there is craft, intention, and skill at the heart of the brave endeavor.

Song for song, I think this is Nick Cave’s strongest collection. Its romanticism borders on gothic, vampiric excess, and it’s doomful seriousness rides along the edge of pretension, but ultimately, this is a powerful and violently saturated tragedy that plays out over its 12 songs as a sort of Shakespearean tribal blues symphony; one that manages to restrain its self-conscious theatricality enough so that its raw roots can show through.


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