Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!


4.0
excellent

Review

by robin EMERITUS
December 3rd, 2008 | 50 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Revitalising his own sound through the medium of resurrection.

For someone as fascinated with death as Nick Cave, it was only a matter of time before he’d also have to consider life. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is as close as he is ever going to get to about that again, and if anyone remembers his cover of Dylan’s “Death is Not the End” that came so close to optimism (forgetting that the word death still counted as gloomy), that is a feat indeed. As 2008 opens, he and his to-the-side pessimists seem to have revived themselves from their vacuum of five years without a record, managed to write a happier (less rampageous) collection of songs about pain, and recount a few natural storytelling blends. And what makes the New York City church tales even more impressive is simply that, no matter how much he wants to talk about demise, Cave still hasn’t aged a bit.

For all his faint, disturbing whispers of I’m not your favourite lover and whatnot that look quite thoughtless laid down on paper, the key is held in Cave’s presentation. For the most part, the most suitable thing to do is lose all sense of preciseness; dropping charm in favour of sleaze for the vast majority of Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is an obvious ploy, but it doesn’t take away the zest of heavily breathing “I mean, he never asked to be raised up from the tomb - nobody ever ASKED him to forsake his dreams” - and it definitely doesn’t make Cave sound any less emotionally perplexed. With this seedy, emotive attitude instigated from the album’s title opener, Cave is already on his way to writing a blockbuster.

And while the album’s spooky flow obviously goes just as that, each of Lazarus’s rambles are bombastic enough to supply a brisker, less captivatingly painful record by Cave’s standards. Whereas Murder Ballads, for example, sits you down in a room and makes you feel small concerning how much you know about murderers, rapists, and both combined, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is while still an almost theatrical concept, supplied with a little more whimsy and a little less fascination with death. Or, at least it’s a more cheerful type of death, because Cave’s 2008 incarnation strips away the pure funeral march nature of his music and summons an overload of black comedy (something he’s infinitely good at already, as most fans know) – “We Call Upon the Author” proves this recent perception of evil to be super in itself, with horrific lines like Hang on my friend Doug is tapping on the window/he brings me a book on holocaust poetry (complete with pictures) and then tells me to get ready for the rain angrily riddled out with contradictory cheeriness (“Hey Doug, how ya been?” sticking to the classless brilliance).

Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! fashions itself into so many different monuments and documents while never actually leaving its contemporary American setting (as intended, obviously), so its important to remember that each and every step on and off the compass has a supplement of brooding of rock music behind it. This is most noticeable when, not content with simply resurrecting his very own miracle-devoid version of Lazarus, Cave opts to bring his morbid sentimentality back, and the ghost towns of minds he talks about when he claims Factories close and cars go cruisin’ as Jesus makes the flowers grow. Suddenly this tune is an oddity; instead of lending from the lumbering leader’s dominating vocals, a blossoming backdrop of amplified, wandering guitar riffs making this dying moment in the album (with a little more closure, it would make a better end to the album than “More News From Nowhere ever could) the most candid yet. Again, in the similar albeit pantomimic “Jesus Of The Moon”, strings and piano are brushed together to intensify some already crass lyricism on Cave’s part – he’s still dribbling it out, but The game is never won by standing in one given place manages to cover moral tales as well.

With an overpoweringly absorbing protagonist stuck amidst catchy post punk rhythms, it’s hard to wonder what concept Cave doesn’t want to delve into. Even when he’s churning out shocking thoughts on the phenomenon of Jesus from verse to verse, he’s still content to boastfully rasp Everybody’s coming round to my place in his quick choruses. This is how Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! fulfils its promise – for whatever historical, legendary impact it discovers with its listener, Lazarus is still confined to New York City’s thriving lifestyle. So actually, no matter how lost in time he is, Cave still makes his character sound about as at home as he ever will be.



Recent reviews by this author
Sharon Van Etten Are We ThereHis Hero Is Gone Fifteen Counts of Arson
Superchunk I Hate MusicThe Weakerthans Reconstruction Site
The Waterboys This Is the SeaOwen At Home With Owen
user ratings (232)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
username345
December 3rd 2008


594 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good album but far from his best IMO. I only really ever listen to the title track.

robin
Emeritus
December 3rd 2008


4248 Comments


ah, i think it's a definete grower. i saw someone review this ages ago (meatplow maybe), but i think it got lost in the crash. would love to see that review again though

fireaboveicebelow
December 3rd 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I wish this was better, but a great review this is

McP3000
December 5th 2008


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

first time i had ever heard nick cave

not what i expected, and the album was a bit disappointed...but it had its good moments definitely


robin
Emeritus
December 5th 2008


4248 Comments


it was my first also, make sure you check out murder ballads ok

McP3000
December 5th 2008


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thats the other one i have
i plan on listening to it later today as well

Meatplow
May 15th 2009


5524 Comments


great review, lost mine in a crash ages back

anyway, this album grew on me enormously. as someone who's loved the entire bad seeds discography, this happier sound spelt change and I didn't dig it all that much. but in many ways I prefer this to the old stuff, if I want to listen to something like Tender Prey damn i'll listen to Tender Prey

PuddlesPuddles
September 17th 2009


4772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I'm finally going to listen to this. The only Nick Cave I haven't heard

Ghearufu
September 30th 2009


87 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with Meatplow. Cave has already created a couple near perfect albums in Tender Prey and a couple others. I think it is good that he tried for something new, and honestly I think this album is great.

qwe3
September 30th 2009


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agh nick cave is sooooooooooooo good

SkanksBestChum
October 4th 2009


42 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid Album, Nick Cave is a great man indeed.

qwe3
November 22nd 2009


21362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bump because this rules

Meatplow
April 10th 2010


5524 Comments


I love Today's Lesson so much

I agree with Meatplow. Cave has already created a couple near perfect albums in Tender Prey and a couple others. I think it is good that he tried for something new, and honestly I think this album is great.


I really should listen to Grinderman

AtavanHalen
April 10th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck Grinderman is so good

Meatplow
April 10th 2010


5524 Comments


Yeah a friend linked me to No Pussy Blues, reminded me a lot of this

AtavanHalen
April 10th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

YouTube them playing "Honey Bee" on Letterman. So sexy.

JesusV4
May 13th 2010


391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nick Cave needs a lot more love on this site.

tomwaits4noman
June 9th 2010


91 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

getting into this album not a big fan of

Albert Goes West or We Call Upon the Author

but the rest of the tracks are pretty great especially Lie down here.

Meatplow
June 9th 2010


5524 Comments


Albert Goes West is probably the weakest, We Call Upon The Author is awesome though

R6Rider
June 9th 2010


4614 Comments


lol@avatar^



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy