Revisiting a classic album.
Nick Cave is a singer, multi instrumentalist, writer, actor and many other things but first and foremost, he is one of the greatest songwriters of our times. He has fronted some of the most important bands to shape popular music since the 1980s and written a string of brilliant albums over the years. But “Murder Ballads” is by far my favourite of his albums. A murder ballad is a type of traditional ballad form of songs which relays the details (and often consequences) of crimes of passion.
Fusion of elements
Cave adopts a straight forward narrative style of songwriting in this album. “Song Of Joy” the first and the best song in the album, quickly sets the mood for the morbid album. Cave sings from the point of view of a man whose family were the victims of a vicious serial killer and manages to scare the hell out of the listener. Try listening to the song with full concentration in the dark when you're alone. Clearly one of the most haunting songs ever written, it is brilliantly orchestrated to give its rich, lush sound. The album incorporates classical and country elements.
“Where the wild roses grow” a duet with Kylie Minogue, was the biggest hit from the album and was a chart buster at the time. a beautifully lush and morbid fable about love gone wrong, the song is plain brilliant. “Henry Lee” is another duet but this time with Australian singer PJ Harvey. Every song is a well crafted gem, each portraying grizzly death in its own way. “The Curse Of Millhaven” explores Cave's interest in punk as well as country while “Crow Jane" incorporates the Blues songwriting style. a genius of an album, it's a must for people who appreciate such works of art.
SHIVA NALLAPERUMAL, I Year, DJ Academy of Design, Coimbatore