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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Girl In Amber”

“Girl In Amber” is perhaps the most downturned, morose song on an album that is already tragic.  Skeleton Tree deals with the death of Cave’s son, who fell to his death at the age of 15 from the cliffs at Ovingdean Gap, while high on LSD.  On “Girl In Amber”,  everything is so bare and forsaken-sounding, which is perfect in the worst way for what he’s setting out to do – which is to bury his son musically and metaphorically.  “The phone it rings, it rings, it rings no more” and “I knew the world it would stop spinning now since you’ve been gone” are crushing lines.  You can almost feel him curled up in a dark corner, enduring so much agony that it doesn’t even matter to him what the song sounds like.  It’s just a bare bones expression of pain, accented by ghastly, apparition like aah‘s that will send a chill up anyone’s spine.  This is way more important than a fucking song.  This is Nick Cave baring his soul from the most rock-bottom moment of his entire life.  It almost feels wrong to derive any enjoyment from this.

Read more from this decade at my homepage for Sowing’s Songs of the Decade.

Was a tough call between this and the last 3 songs from the record, but this just has a little extra something in my opinion.

Gorgeous song, I think "Jesus Alone" takes the cake for me off of here though
love the write up!

Thanks neeka! Jesus Alone is a beautiful song but it's probably 5th for me, because Girl in Amber is my #1 and then the closing trifecta round out my top 4. Of course on an album as good as this, being 5th best is no slight. There's not a bad song on the record.

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