There is plenty of death in Nick Cave’s previous work with his backing
band The Bad Seeds, usually rendered in a gothic or grotesque mode.But the making of Skeleton Tree was interrupted by a tragic death — that
of Cave’s 15-year-old son Arthur, who fell from a cliff near the family home
in Hove on the English south coast in July 2015.
The album, halfway completed at the time, sounds unmoored by grief.
Its eight tracks refuse to resolve into the usual verse-chorus-verse formula:
in the documentary film accompanying the album, One More Time with Feeling,
Cave talks of losing faith in narrative-based songs. But the music, constructed
with customary care for texture by The Bad Seeds, proves handsomely adrift.
“Jesus Alone” is the most urgent number, contrasting high and low in the
form of a synthesiser bassline that rumbles as though from the underworld
and an ethereal electronic melody;
Cave’s vocals begin as a grave voiceover but grow progressively
“Girl in Amber” is slow-building lament that circles around the theme of loss,
with Cave’s co-songwriter Warren Ellis adding a discordant note with his
scratchy violin. “I Need You” conjures a magnificently bereft mood,
the harmony swelling in gentle but insistent protest against Cave’s nihilistic
observation that “Nothing really matters when the one you love is gone”.
Skeleton Tree is an aesthetically striking and emotionally powerful
act of mourning, an ornately crafted accommodation between life and death.http://www.ft.com/cms
Ο Νικ Κέιβ είναι Αυστραλός μουσικός, στιχουργός και συγγραφέας,
περισσότερο γνωστός σαν κύριος συντελεστής του ροκ συγκροτήματος
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds που ιδρύθηκε το 1983.