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Skeleton Tree

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Skeleton Tree
released: 09.09.16
our score: 5.0 out of 5.0

Haunting Magnificence
by: Music Critic: Editor

Upate: Music Critic Album of the Year 2016 has been awarded to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for their hauntingly poignant Skeleton Tree.

Deeply meaningful in its exploration of grief and the human condition, it may be miles from the most accessible of the year’s big releases, but Skeleton Tree stands tall as a magnificent work by an accomplished band.

It is also likely to be one of the most misunderstood releases of the year - and it's only too easy to see why. The album opens with a line about a body falling from the sky and crash landing, a young man waking covered in blood and the theme of futilely addressing God runs through the tracks, leading many fans to drawn the conclusion that the album is a tribute to Nick Cave's son Arthur who tragically fell from a cliff at Ovingdean, near Brighton, England, and died from his injuries on 14 July 2015.

The truth is that the majority of the tracks were written prior to this event, and Nick Cave himself has been at pains to emphasise that bizarre coincidences in the lyrics are not premonitory but just that - coincidences.

I don't mean this as a slight to the fans or reviewing critics either. It is in fact difficult to untangle the lyrics from the tragedy that followed shortly after they were written. 'One More Time With Feeling' in particular seems to marry the words to the events, and it can be challenging to decouple them.

This album is far more than the controversy and spooky premonition theories that have accompanied it however, and to focus only on them would do it a disservice.

In Skeleton Tree, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have created a work of brilliance that explores how grief and sadness can seep into everything around them; affecting every relationship, event and experience. This is modern poetry in musical form, and a tour-de-force by one of the great bands of today.
09-Sep-2016 9:40 PM

If you liked Nick Cave...