I know I'm not the first to say it around here about this very classy new 2-disc set from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, but like my subject line says, wow! Beautiful cloth covered slip case that holds the 2 CDs, each in its own tastefully labeled heavy paper sleeve (thankfully they are also properly sized in this case to allow the disc to come out without having to grip it between your two fingers, as is usually the case), and a big heavy paper lyric book with recording session pictures and notes. Beautiful package even if the music did suck. But just the opposite, it's fantastic. The Abattoir Blues disc rocks hard and steady with lots of noisy guitars from longtime collaborator Mick Harvey. And a lot of choir-like background vocals too, mostly female. In fact, the London Community Gospel Choir is credited in the notes, along with a few others.
Anyway, haven't listened to it much yet, only a couple times on the first disc and once on the second, so don't take this as a Rave Rec unless you're already a big Cave fan like me. I imagine there are nice writeups on it all over the web but I've tried to avoid reading them until I got it in my hands and gave it a few listens. I did just glance at the writeup at AMG and it looks to be some good reading and they also gave it 4.5 stars.
I concur! A very fetching use of pastels without conveying the usual (stereotypical) associations, on top of a top notch musical package. Easily one of my runaway choices for top tier this year.
It's also kind of surprising considering (a) this is the first Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album with which Blixa Bargeld has had nothing to do; and (b) considering how feeble Nocturama was (other than "Babe, I'm On Fire").
I just grabbed this over the weekend myself and have only had a chance to listen to disc 2 thus far, as I was in a mellow mood. Great music to my ears and looking forward to hearing ol Nick rock out for the first time in a long while once I get a chance to hear the first one. Looks to be a really good release, although I'm not sure how kmuch I like this trend of releasing 2 records at the same time.
I'm in the minority on the packaging and all though. I really wanted the vinyl, which looked like a nice package, but it's going for big bucks, close to 40 where I saw it, so I grabbed the CD on this one. It looks nice, but the pale cloth cover is bound to grab dirt and look pretty crappy over time, and I hate having to dig the booklet out to see a track list. I guess to me, CD packaging is all about being easy since they're the things I use in the car and all. With a record, something more elaborate is OK, since I'm gonna be sitting down to listen and can pull out a booklet or whatever, but with CDs, I tend to just want a Jewel box with an easily accessible track list.