After recent release, sky is limit for Nick Cave, Bad Seeds

[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Despite obvious darkness, Push the Sky redefines alternative rockers[/pullquote1]

BY TESS MELCHREIT ’14
Contributing Writer

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, hailing from Melbourne, have released their 15th studio album, Push the Sky Away. Shot to 15 seconds of fame when “O Children,” off Lyre of Orpheus (2004), appeared in a scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have steadily been making great music for the past 29 years, exploring every angle of the dark, mellow, churchy-rock genre they’ve cut out for themselves.

Push the Sky Away is a refreshing change from the dark, frantic rock sound of Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (2008), and has a dreamy quality about it, evident in the soft, almost transcendent “Wide Lovely Eyes.” Of course, Cave can’t go without at least a nod to his darker side, which is where “Water’s Edge” comes in, appropriately weird, and frankly, a little creepy. It’s definitely not one of the best on the album, but hey, Nick Cave does what he wants.

Nick Cave is delightfully strange, and Push the Sky Away reflects his personality perfectly. Cave, in a recent interview with Pitchfork, reported that much of the lyrical inspiration for this album came from “Googling curiosities,” and it shows. Whereas many past Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds albums followed a narrative thread, this one jumps around, with track names that range from “Mermaids” to “Higgs Boson Blues.”

The latter is a great track showing Cave’s development over the past few years; he has broken out of the Biblical touch that at first made him so intriguing, and is pushing his way into modern pop culture, evident in his naming one of the tracks “We No Who U R,” arguably the best on the album. “Higgs Boson Blues” speaks to a range of current issues, mentioning both Miley Cyrus and the recently discovered Higgs Boson particle. Cave uses the song as a means to explore the big question he now faces. He compares himself to those who discovered the particle, likely the secret to the structure of the universe, who are now left wondering what else, if anything, there is to explore. After exploring every corner of a genre they’ve created for themselves, where can Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds go?

[three_fourth]Cave answers his own question on the last track, “Push the Sky Away,” a song that brings us back to the signature “churchiness” of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, an organ accompanying Cave’s chant-like lyrics. They say the sky is the limit, but Cave closes with a song about the destruction of that boundary. These guys are out to redefine limits, and there’s no way to know what they’ll think of next.[/three_fourth]
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Review Rating:
BNot every track is noteworthy, but the ones that are really stand out.

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Questions? Email First at amelchre@fandm.edu.
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