While Cave navigates grief – often testing the uppermost pinnacle of his vocal range and sounding broken-yet-hopeful (“I’m just waiting now for peace to come”) – The Bad Seeds take supporting roles on album number 17, with Warren Ellis’s ever-present, atmospheric synth drone complemented by spectral vocal harmonies, ominous bass and occasional mystery percussion. During this record’s 14-plus-minute closer Hollywood, Cave paraphrases a Buddhist parable. “Kisa had a baby, but the baby died,” he sings in fractured falsetto – art imitates life, and we feel Cave’s sorrow. Listen to Ghosteen in public at your own risk.
Ghosteen by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is out now via Bad Seed Ltd.
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