Ghosteen is the seventeenth studio album by the Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It was released on 4 October 2019 on Ghosteen Ltd and on 8 November 2019 on Bad Seed Ltd, both the band's own imprints. Ghosteen is a double album—the band's first since Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus (2004)—and the final part of a trilogy of albums that includes Push the Sky Away (2013) and Skeleton Tree (2016). Produced by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Ghosteen was written in the aftermath of the death of Cave's son Arthur in 2015. It was recorded primarily in Malibu and West Hollywood, California in the United States, with further sessions in Germany and England. Cave's lyrics, which continue his deviation from his usual narrative-based writing, explore themes of loss, death and existentialism, as well as empathy, faith and optimism. Like Skeleton Tree, the album features extensive use of synthesizers, loops and ambient elements, particularly the minimal use of drums and percussion. Upon its release Ghosteen was met with widespread critical acclaim. It received several perfect scores and is the highest-rated album of 2019—as well as the second-highest-rated album of the 2010s—on Metacritic. The album placed in the top 10 album charts in several countries and was included in several publications' year-end and decade-end lists of best albums. Both European and North American tours in support for Ghosteen were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with all shows rescheduled to later dates in 2021.Wikipedia
If you’re looking for something fun and upbeat ‘Ghosteen’ isn’t the album for you. It’s the sound of a father’s grief for his dead son. It’s harrowing and unbelievably sad, yet cathartic and…wonderful. Production is minimal and sparse, but immersive and as interesting as any ambient album going around. I suspect that over time and repeated exposure ‘Ghosteen’ will become one of my all-time faves.
Brilliant, moving, heart-breaking at points, but also with an eye on recovery and the future. One of the most astounding and memorable pieces of music I have heard in a very long time.
Wow. To call this music doesn't do it justice. To call it a work of art doesn't do it justice. The way that the album digs into the depths of grief is so powerful. It's heartbreaking, but in a way that elevates the experience to connect to a deeper humanity. Compared to some of his other work, this takes what's best and leaves what is "Nick Cave."
Why are there so many Nick Cave albums on this list? This is nearly impossible to listen to.
What universe do I have to live in to think this was enjoyable to listen to!?
Ouch. This is a heavy album. A beautiful album but really heavy. If you've ever lost someone, it will hurt to listen to. But it's beautiful, and compassionate, and lushly arranged. The 14 minutes of Ghosteen, and the painful wish of Ghosteen Speaks are the highlights, but really, the whole album is one big highlight. I won't listen to it often, it's too painful, but I will love it.
Having only listened to one other Nick Cave album (that being Henry's Dream), I wasn't sure what to expect here having heard it goes in a completely new direction. What I ended up finding was a haunting, yet beautiful record dealing with the subjects of life and death, and all that surrounds it. Not something to represent all of his previous work, but a great listen nonetheless. Favorites: "Spinning Song", "Sun Forest", "Ghosteen"
Album won me over. Really enjoyed the style and weird poetry.
Really good album. Lots of awesome instrumentals and the vocals pair really perfectly to create a fantastical, ethereal experience. Love it.
First time listen on this one, like Nick and the seeds generally but don't particularly like ambient music. But this is different, had never noticed the link between Cave and another hero of mine Leonard Cohen, but the connections are undeniable on this album. Beautiful songs throughout. Really Liked "Galleon Ship" and "Hollywood" as standout tracks. Amazing that this isn't all about the death of Nick's son Arthur. The songs are so darkly beautiful throughout, his usual collaborator Warren Ellis obviously influential in the Synth accompaniment.
Not good, could not listen, who the hell thinks this is good music.
A heartbreaking Five-star album from the legendary Nick Cave. And yet, I won't listen to it again anytime soon. I'll rarely put it on even if I want to hear Nick sing. Instant feels but the feels ain't good. This is not a record I enjoy but it's a record whose fragile beauty I recognize.
Always been a big Nick Cave fan (mainly his lyrics). This was hardcore listening particuraly in light of its backstory. It stands up as a testament to grief, loss, love and making peace with trauma. Not something you'd want to listen to reguarly but an increadiblly powerful peice of art that like all great art takes you between darkness and light.
I just don’t get Nick Cave and I just don’t get why so many of his albums are on here. It’s nonsensical poetry that sounds like it was written by an angst 14 year old. This was such a chore and I’m glad it’s over.
Beautiful. 5 stars
A beautiful, haunting album - you can hear everything that's been poured into it and it's heartbreaking.
Achingly beautiful, raw in its emotions, the kind of record that stops you in its tracks and demands your attention. Such naked honesty is rare and Cave’s generosity in sharing the processing of his grief will, I sincerely believe, help others dealing with their own. That’s a pretty powerful accomplishment and elevates this album to a considerable work of art.
This album was right up my melancholy street. If I didn’t know the story behind the album I still would have rated it high but it definitely adds something more knowing about his son. Everyone deals with grief in their own way and Nick Cave dealt with it by dropping this beauty
Tough one to rank. I prefer Cave's rockers to his more somber work, but this is easily his best somber album. Haunting and beautiful.
Oh, a newer Nick Cave album? I’m looking forward to checking this one out. It’s achingly beautiful- I did not know his son died in 2015 a d this is essentially a eulogy to him. So heartbreaking and amazing. Definitely going to get more spins…
Never listened to Nick Cave before. Have heard his name here and there. This was my first time listening. It's okay.. but Scott Walker did it better. I did some research and found that Nick Cave was heavily inspired by Scott Walker and I 100% believe it.
Poems with muzak
Ugh so fucking beautiful, I’m a Nick Cave stan now.
🟦 100 🥇 Bright Horses 🥈 Waiting for you 🥉 Ghosteen
I really liked this for some reason. I thought it was hauntingly mellow for the most part. Another one where it's on track 4 for the second time before I realise it's looped already and I'm listening to the same thing I've already heard. Yeah, really flows well this one.
wooow prachtig. Dat laatste nummer ook wow wat een trip.
Nick Cave wrote this album after losing his son. It’s beautiful and haunting. I’m glad I happened upon it. Absolutely stunning.
even when it doesn’t quite work, and sometimes it doesn’t quite work, the ambition and depth of spirit are astonishing
Þetta er algjörlega ótrúleg plata. Svo mikil ást, svo mikil sorg og særindi, svo endalaus foss af tilfinningum. Meistaraverk!
Ethereal, Calming, Healing and just exactly as what the album cover looks like
So here it is sports fans - my first 5 star rating for an album I’ve never heard of before. Admittedly not listened to much Nick Cave at all, but I love his work on The Proposition and his score for The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford is one of my favourite film scores of all time. I could hear bits of his work there in this album - maybe it’s the way he composes music, I dunno. Don’t know enough about music to pinpoint it so I’ll stop there with that bit of expert commentary. First track had me straight away and got me reading up on it. Listening to the rest of the album in the context of his life struck something in me. Apple Music said it’s an album about love, loss and letting go and I think that genuinely comes across. Stunning throughout. Very deep for the start of a New Year but why not? So there ya go - my “5 on a first listen.” Delighted this list got me to listen to this.
Last albums of Nick Cave, after death of son(s) are more intense than ever. Saw him live last June and was one of best 3 concerts ever.
I've listened to this album before, when I was making my way through Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best albums of the 2010's. The first time I listened to it, I had no idea what had gone on in Nick Cave's life leading up to the recording of this album, but it's plain as day that this is the work of someone who's going through an immense amount of pain. Spiritually, it I've listened to this album before, when I was making my way through Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best albums of the 2010's. The first time I listened to it, I had no idea what had gone on in Nick Cave's life leading up to the recording of this album, but it's plain as day that this is the work of someone who's going through an immense amount of pain. Spiritually, it reminds me a lot of the Nick Drake album I listened to several weeks ago (in fact, Spotify launched into a Nick Drake song immediately after this album's last song, as if to say "aww, here you go, you sad little fella"). The stripped down instrumentation and bare-bones production really help the lyrics shine through on this album. Even though the subject matter is crushingly sad, I found this album incredibly beautiful.
I was not emotionally prepared for this album. As always, context is everything, with having teenage kids myself, I can't imagine the desperation of loss and tragedy. Yet, love transcends. 5 heartbroken stars from me.
Powerful stuff, not an easy listen but no less perfect for it
Beautiful and undeniably sad
Heavy, haunting, heartbreaking. It's one thing just to listen to it but even more heartbreaking to understand the background around this record. It's a very beautiful and unique album, but I don't know if I wish to listen to it again for a while. Favourite: Hollywood
I previously listened to Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree in 2016 and it never quite left me. But the grief and heartbreak of that album was always too much for me to return to directly. So I have not since sometime in 2017. Nor have I listened to its follow up and trilogy-ending, double, 2019 album, Ghosteen. Well I’ve re-listened to Skeleton Tree once today. And visited with Ghosteen thrice. When driving around with it on at night, I was best able to experience this album. That is, Cave’s lyrics, emotional journey, and spiritual arcs as an artist and human being who is selflessly sharing his deepest heartbreak with any who will listen. There’s a lot to take in. And that it caps a decade when many other artists seemed to turn inward with equally emotional, heart-wrenchingly personal albums—Mount Eerie, Sufjan Stevens, Japanese Breakfast, and so on—a decade whose collective grief was buoyed by politics and “grand finale-ed” with 2020 and everything after…it makes Ghosteen seem especially potent. Nick Cave feels to me to be the elder statesman of this moment in music. If anyone can be. His trauma is particularly horrific, even, fateful. And his musical interpretation and communication of personal and personal-made-communal grief is lush, complex, and most often beautiful. Where many artists strip away flourishes and non-acoustic sounds for their most intimate albums, Cave seems to layer upwards. What he does strip away is words. Rather than filing his grief through doomed babbling like other searching artists might, he often lets soundscapes and ambience do the speaking for him. Or other musicians and/or singers all together. After all, how can the right words even be found, let alone without the help of others? I don’t know. It also just all seems silly to say anything about this album at all. It’s stunning.
Very insightful and meditative, great minimalistic sound. Good inclusion for 2019. Already 2 albums from last update!
Niemals hätte ich dieses Album ganz durchgehört normalerweise. Aber es hat mich während der Eintönigkeit der Arbeit extrem in seinen hypnotischen Bann gezogen und teilweise sogar emotional berührt. Ich mochte die Verbindung aus gesprochener Lyrik, dramatisch gesungenen Passagen und dem experimentellen Einsatz der Instrumente. Wahnsinnig gut produziert, ABER: Kein Album für jeden Tag. Das muss einen in der richtigen Stimmung treffen.
The instrumentals are beautiful. I sort of wish that this album was fully instrumental, and that the lyrics were just some poems to be read at your own pace while listening or something. At the beginning I was like "Ugh, I don't want to listen to this slow boring music for an hour", but it really won me over.
Angurvær og frekar dramatísk en mjög góð
I'd heard lots of praise for this in recent years and it was pretty good. Will definitely be spinning again. Very synth heavy in places and it's almost like a post-rock album at times
In the mood to fade away
Really liked the sound they came up with. Very cohesive.
Phew. That was surprisingly heavy. And really really good. Very far from the stylistic vibe I expected from Nick Cave.
Nick Cave is an artist who I think has never really missed, but I’ll admit that I was surprised that this was chosen for this collection. It kind of stinks of recency bias, especially if the (imo) stronger and tighter Skeleton Tree isn’t here as well. But this is another good one obviously, and it has Cave’s traditionally exceptional hook for melody and haunting beauty. But the production is a little hollow at the same time. Again, I think Skeleton Key did everything better, but I still have a good time with this. B
Somber album, but very pretty. I thought I'd get bored and I may have if I listened in one sitting, but over a couple sittings, I quite liked it.
no trap beats
Very emotional. A bit of harsh criticism but extremely one paced and maudlin!
Hier staan wel zulke prachtige nummers op! Messen in m'n hart :)
Mooi hoor, vooral de eerste paar tracks zijn schitterend. Je moet er wel een beetje voor in de stemming zijn, en erg opbeurend is het allemaal niet, maar zeker de moeite waard!
8/10 Best song - Bright Horses
Schönes, atmosphärisches und intensives Album. Besonders emotional, wenn man den Kontext beachtet.
Nick Cave is up there with Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen as the great story tellers of rock n roll.
Ja bi to zvao trilogija. Push the Sky Away - Skeleton Tree - Ghosteen, dakle meni najdraža era Nick Cavea. Najtužnija, ali koliko je tužno - toliko je lijepo. Bio sam 2019. na njihovom koncertu, čuo sam predivne pjesme sa PtSA i Skeleton Tree, i sada se nadam da ću neke pjesme i s ovog albuma čut tipa: Bright Horses, Night Raid, Spinning Song, Sun Forest (najdivniji naziv) zapravo može i cijela A strana.
Volim ovaj album. Jedan od onih koji me asocira na jedan životni period.
Grim, gorgeous and powerful. Stylewise, it’s art song in the mode of John Cale, with Leonard Cohen gravitas, and some vague echoes (for me) of The Final Cut. Hard to imagine what he would have been dealing with emotionally. 4.1 > 4
Haunting and haunted. Hard to imagine a more intense process of turning grief into art.
Having not been bothered by Nick Cave's output post '97, I had never listened to a single not off this. I was actually pleasantly surprised. It is the most focused I have heard Nick Cave since the Good Son. There are some nice subtle elements on here, Warren Ellis managing to accompany rather than dominate the sound. The only negative is I found it a bit over long especially the last track that felt like an afterthought rather than the epic it wanted to be
Nick Cave is a story teller seemingly out of time. His lyrics are sooooo cryptic. "And I slid my little songs out from under you" is a good line. This is a concept album that has well and truely flown right over my head. I like Nick Cave's voice and the way he delivers his words. will have to come back to.
I like Nick Cave a lot but this was (perhaps understandably) a bit one note, and I think you probably have to be in exactly the right frame of mind to be receptive to it. Having said that, though, it's still evidently a strong album. I look forwards to listening to it again when I'm in the right mood! Fave track - "Ghosteen Speaks", I think. "Fireflies" and "Hollywood" were also good...
There has been a vinyl copy of this in our house for a few years but I've never gotten around to actually listening to it. Not sure why. Have listened to (and enjoyed) 'Carnage' a lot. (Also can't believe Skeleton Key was six years ago). I don't know what other NC records are in this list but even without listening to it, I didn't have it down as an 'Essential". I guess it's another from his 'New Age' period. The period where the Bad Seeds just seem to be a bit superfluous. Still good.
Prachtig, zeker nu we hem live hebben gezien. Bright horses hits different. Ook dikke SO naar de album cover, vibeke!
magisch, maar live is het net dat extra
Somber and delicate, moody in a good way.
I rolled my eyes at getting yet another Nick Cave album, especially one so recent. It's his Blackstar/Time Out of Mind, and though he has a tendency to disappear up his own asshole, there's some really beautiful stuff here. Best track: Bright Horses
Weird good listen
I nice introduction to Nike Cave, who I'd somehow mostly avoided to this point. 4/5
Damn, Nick Cave's voice is really rough, but in a good way. What a sad fucking album, not sure what to make of it. Love the shivers in Nick Cave's voice. The sonic landscape and ideas are so interesting. I can't get over it. It's definitely a 5/5 in certain moods.
A big ambitious album, and it's absolutely beautiful.
I think I've reviewed 4 Nick Cave albums and each has been better than the last (not hard to improve on The Birthday Party!). Abattoir Blues is very strong and rockier, but Ghosteen is beautiful, poetic and the subdued almost Bowie/Eno Low-style synths really emphasise the lyrics. So hard to comprehend the pain and sadness of losing a child, but also a strange coincidence that most was written before Nick Cave's son died. A true auteur.
Flink musiker han nick
This was really pretty from Nick, not what I expected.
Haunting. Echoes of Leonard Cohen.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are one of those groups that I've heard about a lot but never actually heard. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was not expecting this. It's really good. It develops slowly, but has a lot of emotional weight to it. Everything fits together beautifully, and the vocal harmonies are a perfect compliment to the voice of Nick Cave, which always feels like it's on the verge of breaking, but it never does 4/5
This is a remarkable album. Powerful, haunting, emotional music. It’s definitely a heavy listen and I would only play it when I’m in a proper frame of mind. So much respect for artists that can switch up their work like this. And what a gorgeous lush album cover also!
It’s surprising that this was the most critically acclaimed album of 2019, because I always scour the year-end critics’ lists and I would have remembered seeing Nick Cave. The sparse, electronic sound is different and I wonder how the Bad Seeds adapted to playing in that style, but they’d been heading in a mellower direction for a few years, I guess. The sad, moody feel becomes monotonous after a while, especially for a double CD, but then Nick picks it up a bit with his falsetto singing in the last 3 minutes of the last song. I’ll give this the score I expect I'll give it after repeated listening. Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed the “Nick Cave Radio” songs that Spotify sent me afterwards.
Ghosteen is a double album and the 17th album by Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It's an ambient electronic album - like their previous album Skeleton Tree - which includes minimal drums or percussion and much use of synths and string or choral loops. Ghosteen is marred by death and you can hear this in the lyrics as well as some of the somber sounds. During recording of this album their keyboardist Conway Savage died of a brain tumor, and singer Nick Cave's 15-year-old son had died from an accident in mid-2015 during the recording of Skeleton Tree, but that album had almost been completed so instead Ghosteen's title and theme were based on metaphysical conversations with his son. This was a beautiful, award-winning, critically acclaimed, and chart-topping album. I can't believe I never heard of this album or its songs. This is a highly recommended album from the list of albums I have listened to recently from this 1000 albums journey.
While I don't like this one quite as much as Murder Ballads, there is no denying just how beautiful this album is. Best tracks: Spinning Song, Night Raid, Galleon Ship, and Leviathan
Nick Cave is a true artist. This is incredibly somber and meditative but also brilliant. Knowing that it was written following his 15 year old son's death makes it all the more poignant. This one is going to require repeated listenings to fully appreciate. 4 stars.
Not my favourite Nick Cave album, but extremely good. 'Hollywood' alone is a reason to give this one a try.
Beautiful, but a difficult listen.
Morose and spare and lovely. 4 stars.
This is a really dark and beautiful album. The subject matter is heavy but also feels hopeful and positive. I definitely liked this album, at the same time I'm not sure how often I'll come back to it as I don't think it's a necessarily easy listen. This feels like a really amazing, heavy movie that I'm glad I watched but don't know that I'll come back to. Still giving it a high rating though because of what it accomplishes and it's strength. Standout Tracks: Bright Horses, Sun Forest, Galleon Ship, Leviathan, Ghosteen, Fireflies
Good album. But need to be on the mood for something this dark and emotional
It really is a beautiful record.
Harrowing and quite beautiful in places, parts reminiscent of Tom Waits and Sigur Ros. Tough but enjoyable over all
the sequence of Leviathan into Ghosteen is perfect
Very pleasant and a bit sad.
What a journey…