mon 28/11/2022

Album: Nick Cave - Seven Psalms | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Nick Cave - Seven Psalms

Album: Nick Cave - Seven Psalms

Off-beat prayers from the heart

An inner journey exploring poetry and myth

Nick Cave has always been a spoken-word man, and these seven short poems set to music with regular collaborator Warren Ellis are the latest in a genre he explores with exceptional talent. He is an artist driven by a need to create, constantly and in many forms, from concept albums to collage, and from drawing and song-writing to shamanic stage performances.

This latest excursion was written over seven days in lockdown and recorded at the tail-end of a more conventional studio session. These are short texts, prayers to a God who is as wrathful as he is a saviour. The psalms invoke the deity around the subjects of faith, rage, love, grief, mercy, sex and praise. Side B of the 10-inch vinyl release is an extended and inspirational instrumental, with only few words. The music has a strong spiritual flavour, swathes of sweet sound, with gentle shifts from minor to major that take the listener on a quiet journey of redemption.

What has made Cave so unique is the way that he has bridged an inner journey that explores poetry and myth with highly dramatic and incantatory rock. He is poet whose wild performances with the Bad Seeds are legend.

There have been other rock shamans, from Jim Morrison to Ian Curtis, but unlike them, Nick Cave has mastered the art of transporting his audience. Morrison and Curtis handled being possessed without the grace and fierce artistic discipline that keeps Cave from going adrift into self-destructive chaos, even when plunging into the darkest aspects of the human experience. Maybe it’s because he’s inspired by faith, which is expressed in all it colours on this very unusual album.

These are short texts, prayers to a god who is as wrathful as he is a saviour

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters