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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 31 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 90 reviews
on September 20, 2015
I had heard the "Where the Wild Rose Grow" song Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue contained in this album, and that made me want to buy the whole disc. He also teams up with PJ Harvey (an incredible singer/songwriter in her own right). I am not disappointed. The title says it all: this is a record full of murder and death related songs. Like many other people who have commented here, I took an immediate liking to "O'Malley's Bar," a long and windy song about a nobody who wants to feel he is someone, and kills everyone to do so. The song is humorous, contains quite a few gallons of the old gallows humor I tend to like, and at the same time has a very catchy tune. Yet, as it is very very long, you cannot prevent yourself from listening to the lyrics, which are both incredible and at the same time may make you feel uncomfortable, as the main character describes in details how he kills his victims and what they look like afterwards.

This is a very very dark album, but not devoid of humor, and from that darkness, talent shines very bright.
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on May 2, 2016
The best. The best. The best. "It is I! Lottie! The curse of Milhaven!".
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on December 17, 2006
The painting on the front of the CD is clearly NOT a Bob Ross, for there is just no way that Bob Ross could adequately paint up some Nick Cave. The main problem has to do with the fact that there are no 'happy trees' in Nick Cave, and none especially in _Murder Ballads_. If there were, they were burnt down long ago. This disc may be one of his most popular, which gets some die-hard 'fans' to doubt it, but the tracks on this disc are soundly dark and violent and tender. Aside from a fine ensemble Dylan cover at the end, with PJ Harvey and Shane MacGowan among others, I find myself clinging to tracks like "Lovely Creature" and "Song of Joy," and "O'Malley's Bar" is its own western movie AND soundtrack combined.

So turn down the lights and break out a couple of bottles of your reddest wine. I'm going to be listening to this one all through Christmas.
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on May 12, 1999
I am simply another fan coming forth to praise what must surely be one of Nick Cage's greatest CDs, Murder Ballads. Sometimes comical yet sickening, other times grotesque and frightening, Murder Ballads is a wonderful CD. It is cruel, it is horrifying, and at times it is even beautiful.
It features songs like "Stagger Lee", an intensely violent song that is fraught with expletives and violence to an almost absurd degree. "The Curse of Millhaven" is a strange, macabre story of an insane, young adolescent who goes on a rather large killing spree. My personal favorite is "Where the Wild Roses Grow", a harrowing and beautiful song sung in counterpoint between a woman and her killer.
Though these songs feature violence and strong language, they go far beyond gangster rap and the like. They either allow the listener to peer into the mind of truly twisted madmen, or they allow the listener to hear the woeful and often sickening stories of these madmen's victims. Many of them are brilliant, though I have a single complaint: some of the songs are too similar. Beyond that, this CD is wonderful.
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on September 14, 2017
I got this for one track but found others I like as well
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on December 18, 2001
I bought this CD after reading some of the reviews and I must say its some of the most downright chilling music I've ever heard. It isn't the lyrics, you can hear songs equally violent listening to rap. Its all in the musical arrangements and Cave's sinister vocal style. That combustible combination makes Murder Ballads a vicious yet delicious masterpiece.
Stagger Lee is simply stunning. I have heard old versions and they don't come close to what Cave has done after he adds his touch.
Where the Wild Roses Grow is a hauntingly beautiful and strikingly sordid song that reminds me of one of Joyce Carol Oates' early macabre short stories. Kylie Minogue's angelic vocals as victim are in sharp contrast to the evil that emanates from Cave's.
My favorite is the epic O'Malley's Bar, a tale of a man gone mad who ruthlessly and brutally murders everyone in his neighborhood bar but shrinks at the end from taking his own life. Appalling violence marks this fourteen minute saga from start to finish.
Songs of murder and violent death have been around since the days of antiquity, but here Nick Cave masterfully takes the genre to a new level. If you enjoy mystery, horror, a well-written and well-told tale, aren't too squeamish and are open to something unusual, then I highly recommend that you buy Murder Ballads. You won't be sorry.
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on July 26, 2014
There's a reason why it's their most famous album. The difference between Nick's lyrics, and the lyrics of some metal band, is that Nick puts his heart and soul into everything he writes. For me, the highlight is Henry Lee, with Stagger Lee as a close 2nd. This classic Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album should be in any music lover's collection.
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on August 2, 2015
Good album. VERY disquieting in its subject matter but nonetheless immensely entertaining.
Be forewarned: If you are offended by the subject matter, you CAN'T "un-hear" it and it WILL stay with you for a long,long time.
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on November 29, 2015
awesome cd was of my favorites by nick cave. with songs like stagger lee, where the wild roses grow with kylie Minogue, the curse of milhaven and death is not the end.
really great music.
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on April 19, 2016
Case came cracked. If you like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds though, you'll love this album-- absolutely amazing, just like all of their other ones.
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