This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Boatman's Call

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

1997

The Boatman's Call
Album Summary

The Boatman's Call is the tenth studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, released in 1997. The album is entirely piano-based, alternately somber and romantic in mood, making it a marked departure from the bulk of the band's post-punk catalogue up to that point. The Boatman's Call remains one of the most critically acclaimed releases of Nick Cave's career.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.25

Votes

10488
Genres
Rock

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Tue Oct 18 2022
1

That was.... Really hard to endure. It's entirely a showcase of this dude's near tone deaf singing voice, accompanied by tragically minimal piano and strings. I say tragically, because if there was more going on to back the singer up he probably could have hid a bit better how really out of his depth he is in what he was trying to accomplish. Half the time it honestly sounds like he strains to hit some of the notes he goes for, ultimately failing at the attempt. The other half the time he falls back on very simple, seemingly thoughtless, go-nowhere melodies sung basically in his speaking voice; the kind of thing you'd get if you asked a child to improvise a love song on the spot. The same can be said for the lyrics. They don't fit nicely in the rhythm of the lines he's singing, making for an overall clunky and disjointed listening experience. What's more they give the vibe of someone clumsily groping around for ways to sound Quite Romantic- like these are words summoned from some foreign persona he's not quite comfortable with, but felt compelled to try on like an oversized suit. Again, a teenager's idea of longing romance. It's a shame that some of these instrumental movements are wasted on this dude's shadow puppet performance. The church organ shouldn't have entered this album's equation, but some other things sounded alright- violin and piano passages that I wish I could have heard divorced from the frontman. Special note; Green Eyes made me physically shudder and recoil. I've never heard a track on an apparently acclaimed project that literally, physically disgusted me, but I guess there's a first for everything.

👍
View Author
Sun May 23 2021
5

If Tom Waits sang Leonard Cohen songs. Like Cohen, there's a deep spirituality entwined with male sexuality that I like in this. Such a smooth voice. Favourite track: "People Ain't No Good"

👍
View Author
Thu Sep 24 2020
2

The first song was pretty good, which got my hopes up. The rest of it was /r/im14andthisisdeep dominionist bullshit sung slowly with a piano

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 21 2021
2

Again, I feel like I'm supposed to like Nick Cave but I just don't. He tries SO HARD to be dark and broody and edgy and uncomfortable. It just leaves me thinking of that kid in drama class who wanted all the lead roles but overacted EVERYTHING so always got relegated to bit parts so he wouldn't screw up the whole show. You're not Hamlet, Nick. You're Rosencrantz.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 22 2023
3

Shit - how badly did PJ Harvey fuck up Nick Cave?

👍
View Author
Mon Mar 22 2021
2

Not bad, but not really for me. Feels like the music equivalent of those oscar-winning movies that people like because they feel like they should. Honestly was a bit of a slog.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 29 2021
5

Probably my favourite Nick Cave record, as he goes with sparse production and really intimate and cathartic lyrics. Great piano work from Cave and the atmosphere from the Bad Seeds fits the mood of the songs perfectly. Fav Tracks: Into My Arms, Lime Tree Arbour, There Is A Kingdom, Brompton Oratory

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 12 2021
3

I get the appear, sad songs are sad. Not sure if I needed a whole CD of this though. Much like Leonard Cohen, I'm sure there's lots of good lyrics here but don't have the patience to keep track of it.

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 26 2023
1

Sorry, I just can't stand any of Nick Cave's music. I find some of the lyrics cringey (especially around how he describes women) and it's all a bit too melodramatic (though that's probably the point). Can just about stomach Into My Arms.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 26 2022
5

A diamond in the rough, a postman in the buff. A lolly left unlicked, a vote card left unticked. A raging bull, a rotting skull, a local paedo on the pull. A twisted nipple, a raspberry ripple a coked up alchy having one more tipple. A brutal rape, Professor Snape, a broken world we can't escape. Goodnight my dear. Goodnight.

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 16 2021
4

Very interesting album, not what I expeected from Nick Cave (or the album cover). Has a very powerful mood.

👍
View Author
Sat Feb 20 2021
4

I had heard some of these songs before, but a very different side of Nick Cave. Standout is "Into My Arms" but lots of great songs. Shout out to "There is a Kingdom" which replaced "Icky Thump" by The White Stripes in the Snyder Cut

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 21 2023
4

If Leonard Cohen did a prison stint.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 25 2021
5

One of my favourite albums from one of my favourite people on the planet that I am more than a little obsessed with. I am totally biased. This album is beautiful, full of wonder, peaceful and just lovely. This album and I are friends.

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 23 2021
5

Gorgeous album. Dark and beautiful

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 04 2021
5

Amazing album - bleak & soulful.

👍
View Author
Tue Sep 13 2022
5

This album gives us a more stripped down Nick Cave with the focus clearly on the voice. The album in contemplative and centers around themes of relationships, spirituality, and the loss of both. There is a rawness that makes listening to this album somewhat of a voyeuristic experience. The lyrics are repetitive and obsessive (Black Hair), reflecting the disordered thinking that occurs in the wake of an ended relationship. It is uncomfortable at times to listen to, but it's real, and that is no small feat. The biggest drawback is its length, but it feels appropriate for the ruminating nature of this album.

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 21 2022
5

Profoundly moving, deeply personal, pared back with minimal arrangement, Cave delivers a powerful album, trusting his voice to carry the emotion. An extraordinary artist and whilst not all his albums land this is really special.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 15 2023
5

I feel like I'm at risk of overrating Nick Cave here, after giving both Murder Ballads and Ghosteen five stars (I think I three starred another one - maybe Lyre of Orpheus? So I am impartial.) But this is another amazing album. To go from the bawdy darkness of Murder Ballads, to this album of faith, and doubt and beauty shows the versatility of Nick Cave on action. Amazing. Into My Arms is possibly the most beautiful love song ever composed.

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 04 2023
5

Nick Cave possesses the unique ability to create works of insurmountable beauty when faced with great personal tragedies and sadness. In many ways The Boatman’s Call was the first album to truly show this ability in full scale. It was also the album where Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds took the definitive move away from their early post-punk sound and stepped into a new era. The Boatman’s Call deals, in large parts, with Cave’s faith diminishing and taking on a new and more questioning form. It is in his search for answers that Nick Cave is at his best - and this album finds Cave frantically searching for answers like never before.

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 04 2023
5

Be it a horrible act of God, personal tragedy has multiple times been a catalyst for Nick Cave to create some of the most moving music ever created. On The Boatman's Call, Cave muses on losing the love of his life, blending the line between his personal life and the characters in his lyrical universe. "I don't believe in an interventionist god". With a single line, Cave rejects his worship of Old Testament Christianity, previously an all-engulfing presence in his work (The Mercy Seat, "An eye for an eye, And a tooth for a tooth"), and accepts a much more human belief in spirituality, accompanied by a disbelief in humanity. Everything has been uprooted - the connection to god, the connection to people - and Cave is right to question; 'Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?'. Desperation is everywhere on 'The Boatman's Call', always paired with melancholy. 'Lime Tree Arbour' is an ominous warning of the revelation to come on 'People Just Ain't No Good', which is equal parts a warning and a denial acting as a coping mechanism. 'Brompton Oratory' manages to channel something primal in its pulsation, with a melody sounding so incredibly familiar as if Cave is musing over some internal truth hidden within all of us. The chorus of 'There Is a Kingdom' echoes this idea of a common connecting force even when the physical or emotional distance seems insurmountable as on the heartbreaking 'Far From Me'. But whether Cave believes this human longing for connection is something to appreciate or resent is not up for debate. The album's centerpiece makes it painstakingly clear. As the all to clear realization hits when the distance is already too far, Cave ponders "Are you the one that I've been waiting for?". And naturally, he receives no response. "Oh we will know, won't we? The stars will explode in the sky But they don't, do they? Stars have their moment and then they die"

👍
View Author
Tue Apr 06 2021
4

The Boatman's Call is the tenth studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, released in 1997. The album is entirely piano-based, alternately somber and romantic in mood, making it a marked departure from the bulk of the band's post-punk catalogue. The Boatman's Call remains one of the most critically acclaimed releases of Nick Cave's career. Cave performed "Into My Arms" at the 1997 funeral of INXS vocalist Michael Hutchence, an old friend from Cave's youth, and requested that the TV cameras be shut off for his performance out of respect for Hutchence.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 20 2022
4

I've been looking for a Halloween costume. Do you think I can go as Nick Cave? Three-piece suit with tie. Unbuttoned collared shirt and slicked back long-dark hair. Heh, it would never work, 'm not that cool. NC seems like such a badass cool-guy that I WANT to like him. However, my listening experience similar to a 'bleak and fish-less sea'. So I listened again. Manly vocals, piano and gentle drumming. This is stripped down music. No frills. Nick Cave seems like he lives in a dirty dive bar and chain smokes Winstons with his band. He is stressed and oppressed by the world above him. Down here, he owns his domain. He's thoughtful and means every word he breathes. The first listen was joyless and settled me down in a chair of disappointment. The second time I listened was right after the first and it became the only bright spot of my day ... BECAUSE I HAD SPENT THE MORNING LISTENING TO IT. What a depressing and honest mess. Nick, go outside and spend some time in the sun, buddy, that bar is killing you.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 07 2023
4

Beautiful, just beautiful. Stripped back, melodic and elegant. Music to make you weep. Heavy hearted yet light and just hushed tones to embrace you. Cave’s vocals are extraordinary and really grab you. Cannot rate this album highly enough. Absolutely love it.

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 25 2021
3

Series Scott Walker Vibes. Pretty dark and broading album. It fely like a heavy blanket on the ears. No uplifting or quick beats; just there.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 10 2021
2

I like Nick Cave when he rocks, but I found this balladeering album pretentious crap (I feel un-australian saying that!). Into my arms is lovely, the rest of it I could do without

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 05 2022
2

4/10. I had the soundtrack for Shrek 2 on CD in my car for a while, and almost always skipped "People Ain't No Good" because it was so damn long and mopey. And this album was a good deal longer than that song. Lyrically I don't mind it, but it's just not fun to listen to.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 26 2022
2

Ist einfach nicht meins. Ich finds fad und kann das ganze album nichtmal hören

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 25 2021
1

This is the most boring album that I’ve ever been punished with. Every song had the same formula: 1/2 BPM + sad piano + snare + be boring.

👍
View Author
Sun Jun 13 2021
1

It's as if sad Bowie and sad Cash made jazz....not good.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 05 2022
1

Just utterly pathetic. Dog water shit trash fucking ugly Nick Cave making me irrationally angry on a Tuesday afternoon. Still somehow doesn’t deserve a one because Korn was that bad. 2/10

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 11 2022
1

Couldn’t give less of a shit about this lame ass dude and his voice

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 01 2023
1

If I wanted to hear good sad songs I would listen to Leonard Cohen. This was just depressing. I know it was his PJ Harvey breakup album, but Jesus, I can see why she left him. Green eyes was just the terrible icing on the horrible rotten cake.

👍
View Author
Fri May 21 2021
5

I love this album so very much. Into My Arms is one of my favourite songs ever, it's magnificent. People Ain't No Good and Far From Me are also perfect songs. WHAT AN ALBUM

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Incredible deep voice. Light jazzy backdrop. Fave songs: There is a Kingdom, West Country Girl

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 17 2021
5

A fine album with some classic songs with ‘into my arms’ amongst the best

👍
View Author
Tue Mar 02 2021
5

Don’t know much about this

👍
View Author
Sat Apr 24 2021
5

Großartig! Mit Kompensation für eine 1sterne Bewertung für das Punk Projekt von Bock Cave reicht es für

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 14 2021
5

One of my favourite albums from one of my favourite people on the planet that I am more than a little obsessed with. I am totally biased. This album is beautiful, full of wonder, peaceful and just lovely. This album and I are friends.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 16 2021
5

One of my favorite Nick Cave albums. Brilliant songwriting as always

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 23 2021
5

Get's better with every listen. Genius

👍
View Author
Tue Sep 28 2021
5

кайфоый голос, кайовые гармонии, особый вайб, немного альтернативные аранжировки, лёгкий романтический звук

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 12 2021
5

that was a really cool album I don’t think I have any complaints? plenty of diversity, beautiful compositions, great vocals, just an all around awesome album 10/10

👍
View Author
Sun Nov 07 2021
5

Fegurð og sorg og ást og fegurð og sorg og ást og fegurð...

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 10 2021
5

De unieke stem van Nick Cave past volkomen bij dit type songs. Ik zong ook mee met nummers die ik nog nooit hoorde en genoot van de muziek tegelijkertijd. Topalbum

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 02 2021
5

At the time I would rated this album as a 4. Excellent but not as good as other Nick Cave albums. Now after relistening to it, I think it is a clear 5.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 26 2022
5

Unaufgeregt, melancholisch und melodisch, genau nach meinem Geschmack

👍
View Author
Mon Feb 14 2022
5

I don't believe in an interventionist God But I know, darling, that you do But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him Not to intervene when it came to you Not to touch a hair on your head To leave you as you are And if He felt He had to direct you Then direct you into my arms

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 18 2022
5

My favorite album from one of my favorite musicians. Truly a gifted artist at his best.

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 18 2022
5

Of sorglet ekki búinn að hlusta en það þyði að þetta se gott (fyrsta lagið: hyd coverið - funny coinkidink)

👍
View Author
Sat Apr 23 2022
5

Into my arms, one of the greatest

👍
View Author
Wed May 04 2022
5

This album sounds like an old fashioned under a tree, feeling the breeze of a hot summer day.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 15 2022
5

Heartbreaking opening. Such a great album, full of beautiful words and music. Truly a classic

👍
View Author
Sat Jun 18 2022
5

One of my favorite albums, one of my favorite artists. Highlights: Into My Arms, People Ain't No Good, Brompton Oratory, Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?, Idiot Prayer. Special mention to the video for (Are You)The One That I've Been Waiting For? as an excuse to make heart eyes at Blixa.

👍
View Author
Sun Jul 10 2022
5

A very easy assignment. Absolute classic from beginning to end.

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 18 2022
5

An absolutely gorgeous album, capturing Nick Cave at his poetic, melodic best. Into My Arms is my favourite Nick Cave song and one of the best piano ballads in music history. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. And there are many strong, gorgeous song on this masterpiece. 5 🌟

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 27 2022
5

A complaint I've seen pretty regularly in these reviews is that the songs on a given album are "samey" and I've made that complaint before myself. Sometimes though that's not such a bad thing and in this case I wouldn't even think about changing anything. Maybe the best thing Cave's ever done.

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 25 2022
5

Excellent, dark and excellent

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 30 2022
5

Reminded me of the Leonard Cohen album I first heard on the 1001 albums journey. Very good. Love both the music and lyrics. Also reminds me of Pulp and Alex Cameron.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Own the vinyl , fantastic album

👍
View Author
Tue Sep 20 2022
5

I loved the poetic quality and depth of the lyrics.

👍
View Author
Tue Sep 27 2022
5

J'avais toujours résisté à Nick Cave (pourquoi?), mais force m'est d'admettre que cet album est exactement dans mes cordes et que j'ai adoré la musique, la voix, les paroles.

👍
View Author
Sat Oct 01 2022
5

Amazing album, would go back over and over again

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 03 2022
5

Excellent. Consistent tone to the album.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 15 2022
5

To go from murder ballads to this was such an amazing shift. Full of heartfelt songs and definitely one of his best albums, even if it does have Black Hair on it

👍
View Author
Tue Dec 20 2022
5

I could listen to this forever. I am a huge fan of Leonard Cohen's You Want It Darker album and this feels just like that. Replayed twice and will be many more times.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 11 2023
5

Pretty much a perfect album. A welcome re-listen.

👍
View Author
Sat Jan 21 2023
5

I always enjoy reading the one star reviews as they are normally the people who've never heard of Nick Cave and/or are fans of a completely different genre. Too bad for them. I'm lucky to have met him and boy he has a presence. This is brooding, sparse and intense. It's also beyond even just brilliant.

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 05 2023
5

Un album principalement réalisé au piano, de belles chansons très habitées. Je valide. Into my arms, People ain't no good, Where do we go now but nowhere

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 15 2023
5

- First time listening to a Nick Cave album - Thought I'd like it and it massively exceeded my expectations - First track is really good and it stays consistent for the entire album - Any album with a song on a Shrek soundtrack has an advantage - Fav songs: Into My Arms, (Are You) the One I've Been Waiting For?, People Ain't No Good

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 02 2023
5

Just plain excellent. Everything is just firing on all cylinders. Nick sounds great, the lyrics are great and the instrumentation is perfect. It's arguably the best Nick Cave album. I wouldn't put up much disagreement.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 14 2023
5

Yesterdays sad sap album Sea Change by Beck bored me. Nick Cave on the other hand held me completely under his spell. It feels like I’ve found a new friend in this album. I had a couple favourite songs from Cave before but never listened to this. The Boatman’s call feels timeless almost. Caves sincerity and almost theatrical delivery are at odds with the 90s zeitgeist of mumbling irony. The sparse piano based instrumentation is very effective. What a great, great album.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 28 2023
5

Oh, I love this album. It's a perfect transition between early punk albums and the latest righteous ones. So tender and desperate.

👍
View Author
Sun May 07 2023
5

Ye a°°¤¡ pretty good☆ i think

👍
View Author
Tue May 16 2023
5

Idk kinded slapped, why not?

👍
View Author
Tue May 16 2023
5

Weary and woeful and wonderful

👍
View Author
Thu May 25 2023
5

I got some terrible news today and wasn’t sure I’d be able to listen to a Nick Cave album. Fortunately, this album had just the right tone for an afternoon of tears.

👍
View Author
Thu May 25 2023
5

I'm familiar with all these songs but, looking at the list of titles, I couldn't sing any. I think that's because they're musically pretty similar and all run together for me. But I also don't think that the music is the point of this album. It's the lyrics. The songs are melancholy and sweet with a touch of menace and lyrics that occasionally make me catch my breath. Nick Cave's a master.

👍
View Author
Thu May 25 2023
5

In this project, I've enjoyed hearing the musical journey of some of the artists. These were not murder ballads, for example. Some lovely and thoughtful songs. It didn't hit me as something I loved right away, but it's been nice to savor it over the day. I do mostly love these arrangements and lyrics (and the stuff I don't really like is still always interesting). This is one I'll be happy find again one of these days and see what new things leap out and strike me.

👍
Load more reviews