Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “Push The Sky Away”

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The band’s last album, 2008’s Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, was a raucous affair, full of the sort of visceral garage-punk blasts that had always cropped up here and there in the their catalog, albeit on a much more consistent scale.  Push The Sky Away takes the opposing path; where their last album scorched the earth, their newest meditates gloomily in the devastation.  It’s the sort of contemplative tone that they took most notably on 2001’s hushed No More Shall We Part, but filtered through the sort of sonic crunch that Nick Cave explored in his Grinderman act.   The result is an album that is both spiritual and heavy, uplifting and oppressive; it’s the sort of light-and-dark dichotomy that is quintessentially Nick Cave.  The lack of hooks may be disconcerting to some, but it’s not as though the album is amelodic; tracks like “We No Who U R” and the title track will still get stuck in your head long after the album finishes.  This sort of skill in songwriting is impressive, especially when one considers how long the band has been at it; to still be this good, this many years after inception, is a feat of which few songwriters in the modern era can boast.  

Final Mark:  A-

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