Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds // Skeleton Tree
Cave's musical output has frequently dealt with the issue of death, but never with such a concrete, personal perspective.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Bad Seed Ltd.
Nick Cave has cultivated a decades-long career based around life's darker emotions. Skeleton Tree exudes a raw intensity that envelops the listener within the first few seconds. There's an inescapable context to this album that tragically augments the experience. In July of 2015, the singer's son, Arthur Cave, fell from a cliff in Brighton, England, passing away at the age of 15. It's impossible not to imagine the inner turmoil behind every note. Though much of the album was recorded prior to this event, there were several sections added in its wake. Cave's musical output has frequently dealt with the issue of death, but never with such a concrete, personal perspective. Details of his son's death, and the subsequent release of Skeleton Tree, are explored in Andrew Dominik's documentary feature, One More Time With Feeling (a line lifted from the song "Magneto"). The sound thunders in with "Jesus Alone." Tracks like "Girl in Amber" have a cinematic intensity, while Else Torp's soprano in "Distant Sky" provides a cue for a weeping emotional catharsis. – Nick Warren