Not bad at all, Nick

No More Shall We Part
Reprise Records

No More Shall We Part, from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is a collection of beautiful, sorrowful songs. This album is the band’s first new material since 1997’s The Boatman’s Call. This is the group’s 11th studio album and was recorded in the fall of 2000 at London’s Abbey Road Studios.

It makes perfect sense that it was recorded in London during such a typically melancholy season because the music evokes a gloomy, rainy day spent indoors sipping a bottomless pint of Guinness.

The lyrics are all exquisite and the magic of each song is cradled in the marriage of eloquent vocal harmonies and soulful instrumentation. Each song is a chillingly dramatic poem put to life by this group of talented musicians.

An example of Cave’s poetry comes on the album’s 11th song, entitled “Gates to the Garden.” Cave sings, “Fugitive fathers, sickly infants, Decent mothers / Runaways and suicidal lovers / Assorted boxes of ordinary bones / Of aborted plans and sudden / Shattered hopes …”

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ style of music is defiantly original and therefore hard to categorize. It is at times bluesy, moody, sensitive and forceful. One thing that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are not is pop.

Their instruments of choice are an eclectic mix of piano, bass, guitar, organ, drums and violin. The experience of the band comes through without exception on every element of No More Shall we Part, from the string arrangements of Mick Harvey and Warren Ellis to the rich and soulful voices of Anna and Kate McGarrigle who back up Cave on vocals.

Every element of this project comes together to form a cohesive artful whole. Cave plays piano and that is the instrument in the spotlight. From pattering raindrop notes to flurries of hail and furious wind, Cave plays the ivories lovingly and passionately.

At times the music is soft and delicately soothing, at other times it surges up loudly and violently like a sudden storm. The theme of the album is love, with Cave’s distinctive voice and emotional melodies backed up by an amazing cast of musicians. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds successfully paint pictures we can all relate to: longing for love, struggles to attain and nurture love and love lost.

If you are already a fan then you will not be dissatisfied with this new album. During the three years since The Boatman Calls the group has been busy and Cave has been writing haunting, illustrative lyrics.

If you have never heard of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds before then I also suggest this album as well as suggesting checking out The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album first, just for a little of the band’s history so you can fully appreciate their latest collaboration. For more info on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds check out