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Mick Harvey: Two Of Diamonds

B+
Album: Two Of Diamonds
Label: Mute

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Excise Nick Cave's high drama, vocals, and Southern-gothic affectation from a Bad Seeds album and it wouldn't be a Bad Seeds album. But that leftover beauty could be Two Of Diamonds, the second of six Mick Harvey albums that's neither a soundtrack nor a Serge Gainsbourg tribute. Cave's loyal sonic backbone since the mid-'70s, Harvey shows several sides of the melancholic ghost-town balladry perfected on the Bad Seeds' discography. He even tries a relatively wide vocal range, from torch-song low-end to pop-song high-end, though a party-starter this isn't. Two Of Diamonds is better suited to an evening of painful, solitary, drunken recollection of mistakes made or love lost—a great double feature with a Mark Lanegan or Tindersticks album, so long as someone hides the noose.