Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
From page 80 of Classic Rock Magazine June 2011
Dangerous and ominous.
Objectivity isn’t easy for a fan of Nick Cave, for whom Murder Ballads is a total favourite – it may just be the most flagrantly homicidal collection of songs ever recorded. It’s graphically and gratuitously everything that the title suggests, creating its own dark, bloodstained world of random death and noir pulp fiction, while the Bad Seeds’ orchestration is as dangerous and ominous as razor-sharp shards of flying metal. Murder Ballads is a severe, bullet-riddled masterpiece. The album ensured Cave an exclusive place in the hall of fame – Iggy Pop, but with sinister narrative lyrics; Leonard Cohen, only 20 times more grim; or maybe Herschell Gordon Lewis reborn into a rock’n’ roll world. This isn’t to say that the other CDs in this latest batch of double-disc expansions – Let Love In , The Boatman’s Call and No More Shall We Part – are exactly shabby. The Boatman’s Call is a literate and moving confessional on lost love, but confessionals are a common convention and can’t compare with the unique overkill of Murder Ballad s.
The four reissues are remastered for digital surround, and they come with the now obligatory bonus tracks and videos, plus a short original film by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. All of this is to be expected, of course, but with Nick Cave it’s the content that counts, not the trimmings – and the single, gruesome image from the lyrics to The Curse Of Millhaven , of a professor finding his pet terrier nailed to his front door, is worth much more than any Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. nnnnnnnnnn Let Love... nnnnnnnnnn Murder... nnnnnnnnn n ...Call nnnnnnnnnn No More Mick Farren