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Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!

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Audio CD, April 8, 2008
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Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! + Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus + Push the Sky Away
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Last seen under the gleeful guise of 2007's Grinderman, a no-nonsense rock 'n' roll excuse to head down to the basement and shout, now Nick Cave returns to his full time Bad Seeds co-conspirators for this release. "Grinderman was deliberately spare and the concepts were pretty simple," explains Cave. "With 'Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!' we allowed ourselves to get expansive." It picks up where Grinderman left off, filled with Stoogified electric guitar, driving beats, and Cave's literate, seductive, and firmly tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! finds Nick Cave back at the helm of his long-term band The Bad Seeds after some impressive soundtrack work--2005's The Assassination of Jesse James--and a busman's holiday in the raw, rocking Grinderman. As the title suggests, Lazarus finds Cave returning to familiar themes of God and redemption, although some of the raw poise and wild-eyed humour that resurfaced in Grinderman remains: take the opening title track, which retells the Biblical story of the resurrection of Lazarus as transposed onto the sleazy, poverty-stricken backdrop of modern-day New York City. Musically, the likes of "Moonland" and "Night of the Lotus Eaters" have a swampy feel, all skittering drums, simmering bass and smoky organ riffs; elsewhere, there are rockers that tie on dissonant guitars without losing their dissonant touch ("Lie Down Here"). Probably the album highlight comes with "We Call Upon the Author", a sprawling, "Sister Ray"-like chugger that shows off Cave's skill for magnificent, sung-shouted narratives: "Now mixamatoid kids roam the streets, we've shunned them from the greasy grind/The poor little things, they look so sad and old as they mount us from behind". --Louis Pattison

1. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
2. Today's Lesson
3. Moonland
4. Night Of The Lotus Eaters
5. Albert Goes West
6. We Call Upon The Author
7. Hold On To Yourself
8. Lie Down Here (& Be My Girl)
9. Jesus Of The Moon
10. Midnight Man
11. More News Fron Nowhere

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Anti
  • ASIN: B0014DBZT2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,661 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By monte on April 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The prolific Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have been refining and revitalising their music for decades but have not reached the end of their inventiveness yet. Severely cutting back on the trademark wailing violin and spooky piano - and with a noticeable dearth of songs about dead girls - "Dig, Lazarus Dig!!!" is rockier and funnier than the "Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orheus" offering Abattoir Blues / Lyre of Orpheus.
That 2004 dazzling double opus would have left lesser bands gasping for creative oxygen, but their thirteenth studio LP rather suggested a band with limitless artistic energy and endurance.
There's a sense of fun here - not always a mainstay of the previous 13 Bad Seeds albums - but we're back to Cave the poet, Cave the laconic chronicler, and he's being a bit more flowery about the rude stuff.
With much of the energy of the grungier "Grinderman" project Grinderman Cave et al explored last year, "Dig" is stuffed with all the literary, biblical and mythological jumble fans can usually expect.
If there is a trademark Bad Seed sound, it is most apparent in "Jesus of the Moon", in which Cave's talent for emotive narrative is accompanied by elegant flute.
As verbose and intellectual as it is scary and unsettling, "Dig" is a baffling, dark masterpiece in which Cave deliberately sets out not to deliver the sweet tones of the piano or the guitar chords which massage the pleasure centres of the psyche.
Instead we get rock constantly verging on dissonance, with squalls of sound and numbing basslines.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By K. H. Orton VINE VOICE on March 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I think the gist of this one can pretty much be summed up with the line, " we've been scribbled in the margins of a story that is patently absurd" ( Lie Down Here & Be My Girl).

Cave & the Bad Seeds' 14th pretty much picks up where Grinderman left off. But where that album's Garage/ Blues lampoon was more of a lark, the stakes have been raised on Dig. Mad carny swirls of organ replace the tickling ivories of yore. Lashing Fenders duke it out with sleazy bass lines. There's even a lute (courtesy of the criminally gifted Warren Ellis). Throughout Cave holds court with self-mocking swagger. In short, this is a Bad Seeds record unlike anything that ever came before.

I will say that fans of Cave's Boatman's Call balladry are likely to be disappointed. The only things that would remotely qualify as ballads are hauntingly atmospheric numbers like "Hold Onto Yourself" & "Jesus Of The Moon. Lyrically, Cave empties out the asylum here. The songs are sprawling, surreal narratives that hark back to the Dylan Subterranean Homesick/ Desolation Row tradition. Some might say the man needs an editor, but they'd just be missing the point. In terms of the writing, he's hit on a perfect mix of the literary & the profane.

I've always maintained that fans & critics often take Cave far more seriously than he does. Never has this been more apparent than on Dig. This is a playful, groove laden & hilariously over the top record. Cave's sense of satire & contempt has never been so off the cuff.

The title cut is in the Lyre of Orpheus tradition, once more yanking the carpet out from under an established mythological figure. In this case, the victim is poor Lazarus, resurrected from the dead only to be so mortified, he yearns to dig himself back into the grave.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By C. Boerger on May 12, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Before the release of Grinderman, I remember getting all excited reading that Nick Cave was coming out with hard rocking album. Unfortunately, the CD didn't live up to my expectations, it struck me as more of a throwaway than a committed project. But at least I didn't have long to wait for the real goods. Dig Lazarus Dig is everything I had been hoping for in a rocking Nick Cave release, full-fledged songs, fun yet biting lyrics, a diversity of musical styles, moments of pensiveness and beauty, and oh yeah, it really really jams. Welcome back, Nick!

I don't understand why some reviewers are knocking this album. This, to me, is not the sound of Nick Cave in a rut, this is the sound of Nick and the Bad Seeds revitalized. We all love Nick Cave the twisted balladeer, the lounge singer with the dark tortured soul of an Ingmar Bergman, the pensive Nick Cave of The Good Son, Murder Ballads, The Boatman's Call, No More Shall We Part and The Lyre of Orpheus/Abbatoir Blues, but staying in that same mode ad infinitum would have constituted the true rut. It was time for a change, and Lazarus indicates a deviation in focus I ardently applaud, even if it turns out to be for one album only. Nick's characteristic snarl is still here, but he seems to be having more fun this time around. Does that make some of the lyrics less deep than what we're accustomed to? Maybe, but that doesn't mean they're not every bit as intelligent and literate and black as before. Nick has opted for a more absurdist lyrical style on several of the songs, going off on bizarre tangents while spinning his characteristically sardonic narratives, and frankly I'm not always sure what the hell he's singing about, but the results are damned entertaining nonetheless.
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Topic From this Discussion
Is this not brave new territory for Nick Cave?
No, I don't think it's anything new, Bill. Oh, it's great, how could it not be? Rather, the disc is an extension of what he did with the Grinderman side project as well as a return to the "evangelist on heroin" Nick Cave of old. What I've heard sounds like the Birthday Party in parts... Read More
Mar 31, 2008 by epsteinsmutha |  See all 6 posts
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Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
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