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On disc: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

- Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!

Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!
(Mute - 2008)

With Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! Australian rocker Nick Cave is presenting his 14th studio album. For a long time Blixa Bargeld was part of the time, but left to work again with Einstürzende Neubauten.
The album opens with the title track Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! and kinda starts with the refrain, then Cave starts to tell the story of Lazarus - transferred to nowadays NYC, etc. -, but the lyrics are also related to Houdini, the great escapologist. Cave's words sound dark and have something mean... Musically the Australian is based in garage rock these days - a bit like Grinderman... With Today's Lesson The Bad Seeds and their master get a bit more catchy... And the combination of acoustic guitar and slide guitar parts is pretty cool - and on top the Hammond organ, but the bass groove is crucial... It's the life line. With Moonland they slow down a bit, here the percussion is the main element beside Cave's voice. The handclaps make you almost join in. Nick Cave is a modern storyteller, he tells dark stories with such an intensity, that it sometimes really get at you... Albert Goes West is a straight rocker which isn't made for classic rock radio, but will be played there. Some sound effects they use at We Call Upon The Authors which lyrically is critical and tells unpleasant truths. But there is also a funny side about this guy. After the relaxed Hold On To Yourself they rock again with Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl) which might give the idea of an romantic tune, but it's far from that! A bit different sounds the last tune More News From Nowhere, with the melodic refrain it's catchy, but as the song is just short of 8 minutes it gets a bit annoying... But the storytelling of Cave is great as always... Telling about a man pumped up with drugs who walks through his drug-boosted memories like through the rooms of a house. Guess this is something only Nick Cave can tell this way, coz the 50-year-old has a long history of heroin and alcohol abuse. Nick Cave haven't changed, he presents 11 tracks in his very own style with intensity and passion. He is a rock poet who is protesting with his songs - like some of the great singer / song writers of the past. To really value the songs of Nick Cave you have to listen to the words, this is not the musical fast-food of these days. The album has many strong songs, and actually no fillers. But it's also challenging, it needs attention - and it grows. Well done!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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