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I have never really bought the whole idea that Nick Cave is a gloomy bastard that never lightens up. His body of work has been just too diverse, particularly the Bad Seeds era. The Good Son is too beautiful an album, and Murder Ballads is just way too funny. But regardless what you think, there has been a definite change in Sir Nick in the last couple years.

Is it the guitar? Is it Warren Ellis? I don’t know, but dang he is now funny and funky and just making really fun albums. Grinderman was great, and those that thought it might be a one off will be glad (or disappointed?) to hear that the new LP Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! is clearly a descendant of that Nick Cave. I for one am very happy. From the opening title track through, this album is a lark.

But this is not to dismiss it as an LP without depth. Where it differs from Grinderman is that it is a fuller, more polished sound. There is more to soak in on repeated listens. The power of the Bad Seeds is really evident in the texture throughout the whole album. There is beauty in there along with the rockin’ but what doesn’t disappear is the sense of fun (there is that word again sorry). How can you not love a line like “Bukowski was a jerk!”

So if you are happy that Nick Cave is sounding like he is having a great time, then you will love this album. I even have a suspicion that Nick is going to win a few new fans with this one too.

… muttler


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