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nickcave pushtheskyaway
Artist: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Title: Push the Sky Away
Genre: Alternative Rock
Release Date: 15th February 2013
Label: Bad Seed Ltd

Album Review

About five years has passed since the release of ‘Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!’ and NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS are back with a new album, ‘Push the Sky Away’. On the outset the problem appears to be rather simple: is this a concept album or not? In strict terms it isn’t, yet it is impossible to miss that the ‘Jubilee Street’ continues in the ‘Finishing the Jubilee Street’. Is this coincidental or the album hides a certain layer of compactness?

In answer to this question we surely have to delve into NICK CAVE’s peculiar universe and see how it manifests in the specific album. One of the most striking characteristics is that failure is the par excellence human quality and the “forever” should be seen mainly in negative terms. Two people can never be together forever but they can surely be apart. This is something that brings him closer to Cioran rather than Schopenhauer. And CAVE seems to be perfectly aware that the limitations of the language are identical with the limitations of our conception of the world. Thus the graffiti-like ‘We No Who U R’ comes as no surprise. Its ominous lyrics as well as a certain deliberate pomposity in language reflect exactly the violence and the point of view of the dominated. NICK CAVE is hardly interested in naturalism or ecology, yet he uses this imagery as tons of great poets in the past only because a naturalistic anthropomorphism can be handled with extreme precision and helps you to avoid a certain moralistic Jacobinism of the rider on his high horse.

So if the more deprived strata of the society cannot express their own struggle could this mean that the more educated ones are better equipped? In the ‘Higgs Boson Blues’ NICK CAVE emphatically rejects it. It isn’t only the insinuation that the measurability of the world is not the answer of philosophical problems but also the fact that we live in-this-world, where violence is intertwined with pop culture and simplistic interpretations of the reality. From that point of view though the story in the ‘Jubilee Street’ is a typical redemption-through-humiliation, a happy-ending shouldn’t be expected, though there is the possibility that some listeners might conclude otherwise. This I think forced NICK CAVE to come back with the sequel of the song, where he puts himself directly into the lyrics to eliminate the distance between the writer and the subject, to become able to mourn her inside her own world. The album closes with the homonymous song which comes as the only natural conclusion to the previous ones, to present us in what appears to be the bleakest hues of this album with the sky itself as a gravestone.

The album musically speaking is less turbulent than the previous one yet what it loses in direct impact it gains it by its brilliant minimalism on all levels. There aren’t any fillers and what is equally important is that the songs look and feel like polished diamonds. NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS has managed to articulate and sing the rueful elegiac blues of the urban Fall in a unique way. The album is sheer brilliance.


01. We No Who U R
02. Wide Lovely Eyes
03. Water’s Edge
04. Jubilee Street
05. Mermaids
06. We Real Cool
07. Finishing Jubilee Street
08. Higgs Boson Blues
09. Push the Sky Away


Nick Cave – vocals, piano, organ, harmonica, percussion, electric guitar, string arrangements
Barry Adamson – bass, electric guitar, drums, organ, piano, percussion, vocals
Thomas Wydler – drums, percussion, vocals
Martyn P. Casey – bass, vocals
Conway Savage – piano, organ, vocals
Jim Sclavunos – percussion, drums, organ, melodica, vocals
Warren Ellis – violin, fender mandocaster, loops, mandolin, tenor guitar, viola, bouzouki, accordion, flute, lute, piano, programming, percussion, string arrangements, vocals

Websites /

Cover Picture

nickcave pushtheskyaway


Music: 9
Sound: 10
Total: 9.5 / 10

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