“I hold this letter in my hand..
A plea, a petition, a kind of prayer.
I hope it does as I have planned…
Losing her again is more than I can bear.”
Some artists are easy to define, becoming synonymous with one genre of music. The truly great, lasting voices tend to change their directions and refuse to be classified. Nick Cave is an artist that could never be pinned down, his music ranging from blues and rock to jazz and classical tones. If you find yourself enjoying a Nick Cave release, rest assured that your next stop will be with a totally different sound. His range of influences have also taken him into the literary world and film making, adding another dimension to his releases on longtime label Mute Records.
Nick Cave first came to attention in the Australian punk scene with the group Birthday Party. They lasted until 1984, but unlike most punk groups, Cave integrated music from a diverse range of influences. After their dissolution, Cave formed the Bad Seeds. This group, which still performs today with Cave as frontman, gave him the freedom to integrate the full palate of musicality he possessed but did not stay within the confines of punk. While each Bad Seeds release has a different tone and theme, 2001’s “No More Shall We Part” was a marked departure. It revealed the true jazz roots of the group, featuring songs with a basis in piano arrangements. While most fans of his earlier work had skipped his late ‘90’s material, this album truly brought his sound to a new audience.
“I kiss the cold, white envelope.
I press my lips against her name.
Two hundred words…we live in hope…
The sky hangs heavy with rain.”
The song ‘Love Letter’ was chosen as the centerpiece of the album, a longing tale of abandoned love. The song is dominated by Cave’s piano and vocal, but by the end reveals beautiful background arrangements with violins scoring the harmony. While Cave continues to work within many different musical genres, this album is seen as his most poignant and focused work. It is a great introduction to his music.
(This is the original studio version, with a fabulously done homemade video…I thought it was a release I had never seen from Nick Cave himself! Enjoy this V-Day Special!)