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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The Boatman's Call


Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

Album: The Boatman's Call
Label: Mute/Reprise

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"I don't believe in an interventionist God." Those are the very first words heard on The Boatman's Call, and the listener would be forgiven for expecting another album of angry, violent New Testament bombast from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. But the lyrics here are crooned, not shouted, over spare guitar and piano arrangements, and the result, somewhat surprisingly, is a beautiful album. Lyrically, there's death but no murder, anger but little ugliness, questioning but no rebellion. All 12 songs are at least hopeful, if not exactly celebratory, while "There Is A Kingdom" and "Are You The One That I've Been Waiting For?" are simply great love songs. Musically, The Boatman's Call is quiet, restrained and simple, a perfect fit for the contemplative nature of the album. This is surprisingly strong, even-tempered music from the historically manic Cave, music that may indicate his willingness to let go of being hurt and damaged. Not many records sucessfully convey the concept of redemption, but this one does.