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Nick Cave/Bad Seeds-Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus *Review* (1 Viewer)

Zen Butler

Senior HTF Member
Jan 24, 2002
Southern, Ca
Real Name
Zen K. Butler
Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

There she goes, my beautiful world

Tom Waits's 2002 double release of Alice and Blood Money proved an artist release two very strong outings simultaneously. Though, those two were two very different albums.
Enter 2004, with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds double release Abattoir Blues and The Lyre of Orpheus,(AB/LO) from here on out. The double release comes as one set in a beautiful egg-shell colored canvas box. Both titles are individually sleeved and a 24 page booklet(with lyrics and photos) slips nicely into the box.
Giving a separate rating for both is tough. AB is more rousing, as the title may suggest. Typical Bad Seeds guitar twang, tight bass, dancing piano with Cave's sinister growls and wails. The addition though, of various female singers, including the London Community Gospel Choir, gives this raucous rock and very gorgeous almost eerie feel. Well, leave it to Cave to manipulate this further. Not all tracks on AB are a cacophony though. "Messiah Ward" is a beautiful tune.

Giving a separate rating for both titles is tough for the female voices carry over to the next disc, fusing the two together quite nicely.

The Lyre of Orpheus (LO). The title track is Cave at his Murder Ballads best, complete with the metal, the blood, the flowers...oh and the murder. LO as a whole though moves slower than AB giving this set a black/white sense if taken in as a whole. Some of the tracks on LO have some of Cave's best singing to date. "Carry Me" and "Easy Money" are absolutely gorgeous. When Cave turns away from his Waitsesque growling and groaning, his voice is the equivalent of pure velvet.

Abattoir Blues and The Lyre of Orpheus play more like a double concept album. It would be exhausting to review every tune (17 total). If you buy into Cave's imagery, this is a must own. I find his religious overtones, no matter how strangely they are placed a bit tough to take at times. Though, this is Nick Cave, I wouldn't want it any other way. He makes me squirm, and his music feels nice to sulk over a bottle of "Jack."

Comparing the two, I give The Lyre of Orpheus the edge. The two together, are near perfect.


Tim Hoover

May 27, 2001
Thanks for the review, Zen. I've been debating on purchasing this, but have held off so far after the bad taste left in my mouth from Nocturama.

Michael Martin

Nov 26, 2000
I'm new to Nick Cave, but the Beautiful World song is on the latest Paste music sampler and I'm really digging it. Might have to pick this set up!

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