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Push the Sky Away

Push the Sky Away

February 18, 2013
4.5 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent album and will stand with Nick Cave's best.
His evolving art sees a changed communication in music and lyric.
Here he reaches for the speech that's trying to be heard,
whether scattered words evoking soft cinematic imagery,
impressionistic poetic phrases, or grand scale metaphor;
but straight narrative has gone.

While there is none of Nick's bump and grind routine,
be assured that this is not pastoral Cave, it is rock in the sense of disquiet,
the tension, the background technica created by collaborating Seeds' composer Warren Ellis, the Seeds themselves and Nick's voice. Some is spoken and half sung but it all has resonance and conviction, in fact Nick inhabits the voices superbly throughout, or they inhabit him (O Mamma!!)... His singing is better than ever and projected so well by producer Nick Launay.

For me there is not a dud track among the nine. Some will attract you on first listen, listen further, this has depth. Some faves for me - Water's Edge in minor key with violin playing a timeless Eastern motif and pulsating bass supporting this tale of the currency of communication, the shoreline mating ritual at Brighton transplanted maybe from NE Victoria, from the small town Book of Love.

Mermaids has a wonderful dreamy chorus with watery ambient sounds and lyrics about desire, women with closed legs - 'I do husband/driver/mermaid alertness course', Cave's black humour flares in spots throughout the album.

We Real Cool with its reverb pulsating bass, great vocal, spacey ambiance. Finishing Jubilee Street with its clacking clapping percussion and its insistent bell, like a railway warning bell in country Oz.
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As he ages, Nick Cave seems to court risk even more than he did in youth. After distancing himself from his mellower side with Dig and Grinderman comes Cave's quietest album in ages. That's not to say its laid back in the slightest. There is a dark, unsettling undertow to these songs. And an almost claustrophobic sense of voyeurism.

The ghostly We Know Who U R sets the tone by taking you by the hand and leading you through the dew of the morning with trees like pleading hands. Warren Ellis' yearning violin provides fitting accompaniment. Wide Lovely Eyes follows and is one of Cave's most beautiful ballads since Boatman's Call's Into My Arms.

At the Water's Edge the women part their legs like Bibles but over all, most of these songs sound submerged in the depths of a vast sea, their protagonists floating in a twilight world between reverie and nightmare. Jubilee Street hints at Red Light District blackmail and murder peppered with surreal images like "walking a fetus on a leash". We Real Cool maintains a suspended sense of menace which characterizes the entire album. Cave has a long tradition with messing with the conventions of Greek and Biblical mythology and Mermaids continues the trend.

Higgs Boson Blues is the albums centerpiece and rises to climax with a sprawling travelogue which includes driving in the Alps, Robert Johnson on the road and Miley Cyrus floating stoned out of her gourd in her pool. Push the Sky Away ends it all with the childlike but powerful simplicity of a nursery rhyme.

Cave's records often have much to commend them. As a songwriter he's up there with Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. And despite any fluctuations in line-up The Bad Seeds prove once again to be one of the most versatile and innovative bands around today. Together they have created a unique, eerie and mysterious masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
I've always loved Nick Cave's style that sits between a Frank Zappa musical mayhem and Tom Waits melancholy musicality. He's his own entity though and any new Nick Cave music is good music in my book, although I'll admit I've always liked his softer, sweeter side like "Where the Wild Roses Grow" or "Do you Love me." "Henry Lee" is another example of the type of Nick Cave you're getting here, yeah that guy. So I was pretty stoked to hear that this album would be more along those lines.

This album for me is impeccably produced. When listening through headphones or on a good sound system you'll quickly notice how specific the imaging and reverb is. The instrumentation sits between slightly electronic and organic plugged in instruments. The quality of the recording is truly natural though, with a haunting sparse quality about the whole album that I just love. Super cohesive stuff here.

My favorites are when Nick Cave is slower, melodic and soft:

"We No Who `U `R," Great pace, Nick sings this one with backing vocalists and the song sets the pace and tone for the whole album. One of my favorite tracks that he's done through the years and it's all topped out by a sexy flute solo at the end.

"Wide Lovely Eyes," Second song on the album. When listening to the album the first time I thought if he continued with these types of songs that this would be my favorite album of his. But the rest is more varied for me. The melodies and background singing in counterpoint and harmony didn't continue all the way through. Non-the-less, wide lovely eyes is beautiful, layered, and a hauntingly beautiful track. It's a sad song about lost connection, great lyrics here.

"Push the Sky Away," Very cinematic, which is something I don't always think with Cave.
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