Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Push the Sky Away

The Bad Seeds’ 15th studio album may be a stripped-down affair, but Cave’s poetic stream-of-consciousness lyrics are easily at their best, accentuated by Warren Ellis’s loops and producer Nick Launey’s restrained mixing. On “Mermaids,” cunning punster Cave intones: “She was a catch/We were a match/I was the match/That would fire up her snatch/But there was a catch/I was no match/And I was fired from her crotch/Now I sit around and watch/Mermaids sun themselves out on the rocks.” Later, the cosmically comic “Higgs Boson Blues” surreally references both the God Particle and Robert Johnson’s deal with the Devil. And on the Georges Bataille–flavored, “Gimme Shelter”–channeling track “Jubilee Street,” Cave psychosexually deadpans: “The problem was she had a little black book/And my name was written on every page/A girl’s gotta make ends meet even on Jubilee Street/I was out of place and time and over the hill and out of my mind.” Out of his mind or not, at 55, Cave has realized the most sublime album of his career.

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