Nick Cave is one of the few artists that gets better with age. He was a kind of tiresome punk, but in the last 10 years his music has gone from good to sublime.
The Lyre of Orphee was quite simply magnificent and the particularly badly designed sleeve (in contrast to the aforementioned) of Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (C’mon man how many !!!’s does a quality writer need?) does not, in any way, prepare one for the solid gold that lies within.
This record rocks.
No, it rock and rolls.
It is wondrous.
Every track is totally different in construction, style, sound, arrangement and effect. But held together with Cave’s growling vocals and incredible lyrics.
The title track is the pick of the bunch. But not by much. It is a modern day take on the parable of Lazarus, or Larry as Nick fondly refers to him – in a modern US setting of course
Larry has found his moment of fame, having been, against his wishes, dug up and ressurected – and plainly he doesn’t like it, becoming in time a drunk, a junky and a drop out – just like all the rest of the unnamed ressurectionists.
It is a quite breathtaking piece of writing, but in addition it comes with a grinding bassline, a brilliant melody (in a Nick Cave sort of way) and a stomping rythm. And you know what? EVERY single song that follows perms one or more of the above qualities.
This is a very good record indeed and a certainty for my best of the year shortlist.
Here’s a wee taster …