Nick Cave and his backing band, the Bad Seeds, have been a forced to be reckoned with since the mid-80s. There are very few acts that have been able to adopt a style so incredibly melancholy, dark, gothic (whatever you want to call it) and crank out a 30 year career as praised and worshiped as theirs. The key to their success lies in a few places. For one, it’s all about beauty. Even at their most vicious, the songs end up feeling particularly beautiful and affective (see “Where The Wild Roses Grow” or “Red Right Hand” as prime examples.) In addition, Nick Cave is a bonafide poet. The man can sing about anything imaginable in such vivid detail that you get sucked into the emotion. In any given track, you can feel heartbroken, in love, angry, elated, morbid, or even grateful, but regardless… you’re going to feel, and you’re going to feel intensely. For such a consistent and uniform discography, Nick Cave has done an excellent job of never repeating himself. I think that the peak of his output really came in 2004 with the release of his impeccable double album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus. In a strange move that actually makes tons of sense, the Bad Seeds went gospel… of course in their own way. A majority of the tracks heavily feature a gospel choir, which brings a heightened level of both beauty and intensity to the music. Content-wise, the tracks cover the same territory you’d expect from Cave, but the presentation is so wildly different. If I had to pick one song to recommend from the record, I would have to go with the lead single, “Nature Boy.” I realize that if there was one song you’d already know from the album, it’d be this one, but everyone needs to know it. The lyrics paint a very detailed, and somewhat twisted story that is easy to get wrapped up in, but on the surface, the track is all about this uplifting energy that only a gospel choir (albeit a small one) can bring. I’m not sure how anyone can really deny this song’s excellence, so, if you haven’t heard “Nature Boy” yet, I am very excited for you to know it now.