Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

BMG, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Okay, I will admit: I am a Nick Cave novice. Knowing about three songs from a thirty year career does not qualify one as a diehard fan. But I’m now a big fan of The Birthday Party, which means that it’s time to dig into Nick Cave’s other musical endeavors. And this disc is the place to start if you have no clue about the Bad Seeds, containing 45 tracks spanning 1984-2014. That’s a lot of music to digest, particularly if you’re not readily familiar with it.

Early tracks like “From Her To Eternity” and the long, drawn out cover of “In The Ghetto” sound like the remnants of Birthday Party, and while it’s not a bad thing, they don’t particularly blow up my speakers or anything like that. “Tupelo” is a good track that begins to reveal how dark and sinister the band’s music would ultimately become. “The Carny” is a fantastic track, just eerie, atmospheric, and very much like a story.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band’s sound started to change around the time of “Up Jumped The Devil,” which has more of a melodious, eerie feeling. “The Mercy Seat” is probably one of the famous songs Nick has ever been part of and has earned its place in the echelon of alternative rock classics. I can also say without a doubt that “The Ship Song” is one of the best songs I’ve heard in quite a while and is an instant classic in the band’s repertoire.

I’m not going to lie; I remember “Red Right Hand” from the first “Dumb & Dumber,” but it’s still a great song. Meanwhile, “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” which is a duet with Kylie Minogue, is one of the most eye opening tracks from the band’s history. But it sounds great and is one of those tracks just longing to be discovered by new generations.

The band’s late 90s oeuvre was a bit more melancholic; for example, “Brompton Oratory” is one of the mellowest tracks on the whole record. And it seems that the more mellow the music got (like on “God Is In The House”), the less interesting the band seemed. Nick’s vocals continued to sound great, but for the most part, the music got too underwhelming and became not surprising at all.

On tracks like “There She Goes, My Beautiful World,” the band picked up the tempo and began coming back to life. There was more of a sense of urgency about the music that had been lacking for some time. “Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!” is one of the most rocking tracks in the whole collection and also one of the most notable.

If you’re not a fan of Nick Cave and aren’t familiar with his style, then this is the perfect place to start. Not everything here is a winner, but there’s more than enough here to make just about anyone a convert. If you’re already a fan, then this is an unnecessary package because you already own everything. But speaking for myself, this is a fantastic record that showcases one of the most dynamic outfits in all of rock.

Rating: B+

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© 2017 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of BMG, and is used for informational purposes only.