Reviews Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Push The Sky Away

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Push The Sky Away

Nick Cave is an uncaring bastard.
He doesn't care if you buy his new album Push The Sky Away, nor does he care if you like it. Of course, this is not what makes him a great artist. What makes him a great artist is the uncompromising nature of his work. The man does whatever the hell he wants to, and everything else are mere obstacles - Impediments to the work at hand.

Of course, this is all just a theory. Who the hell knows what's going on in his head. The guy tends to answer most interviewers questions by telling them to go fuck themselves. And so, while we can speculate until the mods come home, what really matters is whether the work is good. In this case, we can say unequivocally that the work is good. So good, in fact, that Push the Sky Away could very well be the most fully realized album of Cave's career.

The man has always been the master of the brood, A dark romantic with a hint of danger. Here, particularly on tracks like "We Real Cool" and "Water's Edge", the man sounds downright cruel. There's always been an underlying malevolence with Cave that has reared it's head briefly on each of his 15 albums, but on Push The Sky Away, track after track, the funeral procession drives by and all we can do is watch and listen silently until it passes.

It should be noted that this is the first Bad Seeds album to not feature Mick Harvey, who I daresay is scarcely missed because haunting Cave every step of the way is the twisted brilliance of Warren Ellis. The Renfield to Cave's Dracula - the real reason why Cave never became boring or fell victim to his own devices. The accoutrements Harvey provides, be they percussion, strings, brass or woodwind are invaluable to the sound of the Bad Seeds and his work here on Push the Sky Away ranks among his best. There's a stark subtle beauty to his work on this album in particular that lays in stark contrast to Cave's brash lyrics and his more bombastic work in Grinderman and The Dirty Three. Bust out the headphones for proof. Martyn P. Casey on bass masterfully provides much of the atmosphere and tension with a deft, heavy hand.

The non-sequiturial nature of Cave's lyrics have been a source of many a heated discussion over the years. "Higgs Boson Blues" being a prime example of the divisiveness. The song finds Cave at his storytelling groove-driven best but surely stands alone as the spookiest name-check of Hannah Montana in the history of music. There's not many folks that can get away with it, let alone providing a chill in the process, but get away with it, he does. If Push the Sky Away is the portrait of an artist in the sundowning phase of his career, here's hoping the sun never sets.

8.5 / 10Kevin Fitzpatrick
See also

KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment

8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

Share this content
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

One More Time With Feeling

8.0 / 10 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - One More Time With Feeling album cover
Video/DVD Review

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief - that is how ancient Greek tragedians put it. Grief and beauty. Parallels between the literate ...

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Skeleton Tree

8.8 / 10 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree album cover

When it was announced that Nick Cave was releasing a new album Skeleton Tree to accompany the release of his documentary One More Time With Feeling, it felt decidedly unnatural ...

Related news

Records Live Nick Cave EP

Posted June 22, 2018, 7:34 p.m.

On Sept. 28, Bad Seed Ltd will release Distant Sky - Live in Copenhagen, a 4-song live EP by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Recorded live in 2017, the EP will ...

Records The Best of Nick Cave 1984-2014

Posted April 29, 2017, 9:04 a.m.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds will release Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 1984 - 2014 on May 5. The compilation is a 2 CD/3 ...

Records Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds plan Skeleton Tree

Posted June 2, 2016, 8:46 a.m.

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds will drop a new release, their 16th studio album overall, on Sept. 9. Titled Skeleton Tree, the new album is their first since 2013's ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.