Oh, Thomas Bartlett
It was also the kind of landmark record that can be very difficult to
follow. Cave and his band, the Bad Seeds, released their next studio album in
2001, "No More Shall We Part," a dense, intricately complicated record that had
a few brilliant moments, but for the most part felt overworked, overthought, and
stale. Last year came "Nocturama," a sloppy, indifferently written record that
replaced overthinking with thoughtlessness and was easily the worst that Cave
had ever made. It began to look as though "The Boatman's Call" might have marked
not only the highpoint of Cave's career but also the beginning of its rapid
Earlier this year, I met with Cave as he prepared to release his two-CD
record set -- "Abattoir Blues" and "The Lyre of Orpheus." He spoke at length
about the progression from "The Boatman's Call" to the present, and while he
didn't, in so many words, say that his last two records were bad, his tone --
and his inability to even remember one of the titles -- made it clear that his
esteem for them may be as limited as mine.
Translation: "even though there's no "proof" of this in the article, I got the distinct feeling
that the musician's opinion of his work was exactly the same as my opinion of his work. Sounds incredible, right? Especially given that musicians don't often dislike things they've made and I irrationally hated the last two albums? But true! Sure, there's no basis for that, but you just had to be there, with me, and Nick Cave...it was awesome, by the way."
I also like an ostensibly interview-based article in which quotes from the subject appear in less than one-third of the paragraphs therein. What's that other 2/3 about? Oh, you know...stuff.