Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 1984 - 2014

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May 18, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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Compiling a best of collection is a tall task for any band. Doing so for a band with an eclectic and shapeshifting sound that has endured through three decades is nearly impossible. This could explain why Lovely Creatures is being released in four varieties (double CD, triple vinyl, Deluxe 3CD & DVD, Limited Edition Super Deluxe with hardcover book).

Seldom do history, science, math, and music combine in a way that is as informative as it is entertaining, but this best of collection does just that. History shows us that while clever synth pop ruled the world in the '80s, alt-rock topped the charts in the '90s, and post-grunge dominated the airwaves in the '00s, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were ignoring trends and instead were busy exploring and bending multiple musical genres into an original and unique creation; ultimately establishing themselves as a genre all their own. 

Science proves the band has evolved through various phases, from their twisted blues-rock beginnings to post-punk and cinematic drone-rock, with forays into gothic, gospel, and murder ballads along the way. The math counts 15 musicians that have collaborated as Bad Seeds at one time or other to help fulfill Cave's musical vision and bring his lovely creatures to life.

There aren't many bands that can carve their way through such a dense musical palette with conviction and dexterity, but Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds strut their stuff in a variety of styles, from turbulent to delicate, with each of the last three decades represented with notable tracks. Highlights include staples such as early triumphs "The Carny," "The Mercy Seat," and "The Ship Song," mid-period winners "Red Right Hand," "Where the Wild Roses Grow," and "God Is In the House" and more recent knockouts "Breathless," "Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!," and "Jubilee Street."

Cave's chameleonic baritone fits equally well in love songs and murder ballads and his passionate crooning brings eccentric characters to life, belting out the sordid fables with emotional intensity. The diverse music is played with equal fervor as the band's artistic hybrid of rock is an ideal fit for his twisted tales.

This Best Of retrospective only scratches the surface of a storied career but can serve as both a jumping off point for newbies or for hardcore fans to relive the glory days. (www.nickcave.com)

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