Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away

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Push the Sky Away, produced by Nick Launay, is painted with a deliberately limited sonic palette by Ellis. The album's sequencing makes it feel like a long, moody suite. While most of these songs contain simple melodies and arrangements that offer the appearance of vulnerability and tenderness, it is inside this framework that they eventually reveal their sharp fangs and malcontent. Opener, and first single, "We No Who U R" is reminiscent of "Your Funeral, My Trial" in its intent, but musically Ellis's sparse loops, flute, and a backing vocal chorus lend it an elegiac feel that belies the threat in the lyric. "Water's Edge," with its rumbling bassline, eerie piano, and Ellis' droning violin loops, is more overt in its sinister menace. Its protagonist, full of rage at seeing the dance of romance among the young, warns: "It's the will of love/It's the thrill of love/It's the chill of love/Comin' on." "We Real Cool" uses that thrumming bassline too. Instantly taut, one awaits an explosion that never arrives, musically speaking. Here, and elsewhere on this recording, the listener is exhorted to walk an emotional tightrope between the human qualities in Cave's characters as speaking subjects and the more distasteful, disgusting traits that make them objects of repulsion.

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