Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away (4 stars)

Tarnished lullabies of sadness and bitter menace

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away

(Bad Seed Ltd)

It would be a tired cliché indeed to speculate whether Nick Cave is mellowing with age just because this new album barely makes it out of second gear. The feral sex-wolf of legend is largely absent here, but in these tarnished lullabies there remains a strong and indefinable sense of sadness and bitter menace. ‘We No Who U R', far from being the Prince-style funk workout the title suggests, drips like rain upon an iron roof, Cave’s hesitant mantra eventually coalescing into the wearily definitive threat: ‘We know where you live/and we know there’s no need to forgive’.

The dark growl of ‘Water's Edge’, straining under Warren Ellis’ keening violin, comes closest to a forceful virility, but this commendable change of pace from Cave and company remains true to its sense of powerfully established restraint on the noirish diptych ‘Jubilee Street’ and ‘Finishing Jubilee Street’ or amidst the title track’s crystalline, trance-like splendour.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - We No Who U R

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