Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Henry's Dream



by DanBored USER (3 Reviews)
May 11th, 2007 | 109 replies

Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I counted all my blessings and I counted only one"

The Good Son is one of Nick's more neglected albums. Any album opening with a song like Papa Won't Leave You Henry should surely be up there with the greats, but he is generally overlooked in this, his transitional period between the doom-laden screamings and the doom-laden crooning. Both had a lot of humour, black or otherwise, and this album is the perfect example.

The opening track Papa Won't Leave You Henry is truly cinematic. Building from Nick over guitar to crescendos with drums, strings and even harmonica, there's also some truly bone rattling harmonica and the lyrics veering from the comic to the darkly comic. "There's a lynch mob, death squad, babies born without eyes or brains the dead heat and relentless raaiiiin!". Whether this song is related to The Ass Saw The Angel, his novel, I couldn't say. Don't really care either. This song is like plugging your head into some speakers and allowing your darker thoughts to seep through.

I Had A Dream, Joe is another one with his fantastic voice, building and building until it's impossible to concentrate on anything else. This goes into:
Straight To You one of his best love songs to date, and was ripped off by Fix You by Coldplay. The wonderfully hymnal organ, his always brilliant Scott Walker-ian vocals and the Seeds backing vocals add to the mood of complete surrender to what is pouring from your speakers or headphones. Again the speaker linked to head mode.

Brother My Cup Is Empty is a fantastically urgent semi-folk song. "I counted all my blessings and I counted only one". Fantastic. Not more can be said, but his insane chanting parts and the build ups...listen to it yourself and you'll see what I mean. This is followed by the unremarkable Christina The Astonishing. This is a song about a saint, and Saint Nick needn't have put it on here. It's a pleasant enough Russian Othrodox sounding song with some nice organ and vocals, but otherwise it's a greatly resounding MEH!

When I First Came To Town is another one about alienation which he's very good at. At least I think that's what it's about. Nothing stands out to me at least but it's brilliant. This is followed by John Finn's wife, an excellent song an almost epic story of infidelity building over an urgent guitar scrawl to a very small wall of sound. A fence of sound. At one point it turns strangely into something sounding like Atlantis by Donovan, with calm spoken vocals over backing vocals and atmospheric instrumental parts, then GOES BACK! This is why I love Nick Cave. That and for reasons discussed below.

The Loom Of The Land is in my opinion one of THE best love songs written by anyone. On earth. Nick's voice both sepulchral and slightly sexy (can Nick Cave NOT be, even with his ridiculous moustache. Just my opinion maybe but it the voice? Correspondence welcome.), the plunking bass, the subtle wailing guitar and the ethereal backing vocals set the mood perfectly. When Nick Cave sings "I'll never bring you home" it sounds like the most inviting thing on earth, but when he sings "Lay your head on my shoulder" you fear he will cut it off.

Then the spell cast by the wordless outro is shattered by Jack The Ripper, the weakest song for which I docked it half a point. It's just him complaining about woman problems for a while. Not worth listening to if I'm honest. I'd end it after Loom of The Land. Nick Cave albums often have sequencing problems, and this is a case in point, slipped somewhere towards the beginning, it's ok. After a sighingly beautiful and sinister lust-song though, its unneeded.

That said, it's borderline perfect this album, and not just because I'm blinkered by the fact his voice has an unusual effect on me.

user ratings (386)

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 11th 2007


Nick Cave is great

May 12th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

yay another nick cave review. hes probably one of the greatest songwriters ever. i love his dark storytelling and his voice. this album is pretty good but at its not his best, i prefer murder ballads or let love in

May 12th 2007


for some reason i've always mistaken nick cave for nick drake....

good review. what is this album like by the way?

talk show host
May 12th 2007


Straight To You is probably one of the best love songs written period.

January 1st 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

Loom of the land, amazing song....

Papa Won't Leave You, Henry is not based on Nick Cave's novel but the time he lived in Brazil. Hence death squads, rain etc

The album is neglected even by Cave himself, he hated the way the production turned out, he wanted the album to be rawer...

Its mainly acoustic, piano obviously and organ.

Bands like Sons and Daughter owe a lot to this album, (in my opinion son and daughters nailed the raw energy that Cave wanted to capture) still its one of his most focused efforts of the 90's

August 23rd 2008


The Good Son is one of Nick's more neglected albums. Any album opening with a song like Papa Won't Leave You Henry....

This is Henry's Dream, and this album is more or less a fan favourite.

After The Good Son it seems here is where the bands songwriting started truly coming together, but it's a lot more polished off then anything they've done earlier so it loses a lot of raw energy on albums such as From Her to Eternity and The Firstborn is Dead. Some of these songs here i'm not too keen on, but where it works it's amazing.

Straight to You is possibly my favourite song ever

September 24th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

I adore this whole album, enough to buy it,

September 29th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

This album kind of hit me today. Really powerful stuff.

December 5th 2009


I'll probably drop my rating for this a bit, Christina The Astonishing is a particularly strong blemish whilst some of the songs such as I Had A Dream Joe just really don't do it for me much.

Papa Won't Leave You, Henry, Straight To You and Brother, My Cup Is Empty are so good though. I'm starting enjoy the last 3 tracks as well, usually my attention wavers before I get to them.

December 18th 2009


Why did I never notice how awesome Jack The Ripper is before?

January 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Out of the Nick Cave albums I've heard so far I think I like this one best.

January 2nd 2010


Murder Ballads is one of my favorites, but this is really good.

January 2nd 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

I'm getting Murder Ballads next :]

January 2nd 2010


and I slip my hand between the thighs of John Finn's wife

October 15th 2010


so good

February 8th 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

Just got this. 4 songs in and it's so fun.

February 8th 2011


gonna bump this to a 5, fuck it. I love all these songs

March 3rd 2012


This should get way more attention.

May 2nd 2012


Outstanding album. I adored the 1st half but some of the 2nd half was a bit bland.

I agree with Meatplow, 'Straight to You' is just perfect. That song or 'When I first came to Town' are probably my favorites on this amazing album.

June 17th 2012


Album Rating: 2.5

That's a pity. Brother mi cup is empty sounds so good. The other songs are quite boring. We stay waiting for something that finally never come.

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