The music of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (part 4 of 5)

Album: The Boatman's Call (1997)
A few lesser tracks on the album, but also several of my all-time favorites by Cave. The album, which is entirely piano-based and a departure from the band's post-punk catalogue, remains one of the most critically acclaimed releases of Nick Cave's career. Many of the lyrics seem to reflect on Cave's personal relationships and spiritual yearnings at the time of writing. Some songs are thought to be directed at either the mother of Cave's oldest son Luke, Viviane Carneiro (in "Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?") or PJ Harvey, with whom he had a brief relationship around that time (as referenced in "West Country Girl", "Black Hair" and "Green Eyes").

Favorite tracks:
Into My Arms
(Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For?
Brompton Oratory
People Ain't No Good
Lime Tree Arbour
Far From Me

Favorite lyric:
“The sun would stream on the sheets
Awoken by the morning bird
We'd buy the Sunday newspapers
And never read a single word”
Favorite lyric from People Ain't No Good:
“The winter slammed us like a fist
The windows rattling in the gales
To which she drew the curtains
Made out of her wedding veils”

Album: No More Shall We Part (2001)
While a few tracks go on a bit too long, the album showcases the virtuoso talents of the Bad Seeds, with elaborate instrumental sections on nearly every track. Also, Cave's lyrics are less obscure than usual, and he sings in a wider vocal range than he had previously, reaching alto on several tracks.

Favorite tracks: 

Favorite lyric:
“The burdens that you carry now
Are not of your creation
So let's not weep for their evil deeds
But for their lack of imagination
Today's the time for courage, babe
Tomorrow can be for forgiving
And if he touches you again with his stupid hands
His life won't be worth living”

Album: Nocturama (2008)
The lyrics are of the usual high quality, yet the album lacks memorable melodies. Probably among Cave’s weakest. Even the album artwork is not the best.

Favorite lyrics:
“Under the bridge and into your dreams he soars
While you lie alone in that idea-free sleep of yours
That you’ve been sleeping now for years”

“She sat in a wicker chair, her eyes they were downcast
She breathed in the future, by breathing out the past”

“The cops are hanging around the house
The cars outside look like they’ve got the blues
The moon don’t know if it’s day or night”

Any thoughts on the music? Have you listened to Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds? Or are you new to the band as I am? As always, comments are welcome. Part 5 of 5 coming soon.


  1. One of the ways I test people to see their music knowledge is if they know who Nick Cave and the Bad Sees are. I love the song 'Red Right Hand.'

    1. @msmariah: I agree Red Right Hand is a good track by Cave. That’s a good way of testing your friends :) I’m looking forward to catching the doc about him, 20.000 Days on Earth (2014). Especially now that I'm familiar with his albums.


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