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Murder Ballads

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

1996

Murder Ballads

Album Summary

Murder Ballads is the ninth studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, released in 1996 on Mute Records. As its title suggests, the album consists of new and traditional murder ballads, a genre of songs that relays the details (and often consequences) of crimes of passion. "Where the Wild Roses Grow", a duet featuring Cave singing with Kylie Minogue, was a hit single and received two ARIA Awards in 1996. Other prominent guest musicians on the album include PJ Harvey and Shane MacGowan.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.15

Votes

5147

Genres

  • Rock
Reviews
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View Author
Sun Aug 29 2021
1

This is really not my thing. It felt like the ramblings of a half stoned old man in some seedy bar. If that's your cup of tea you'll love it, but to me it was boring, depressing and badly sung.

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Mon Nov 09 2020
1

I felt like I should like this album but, the more I listened the more I hated it. The musicality was good but the songwritiing was lazy. You could tell which songs were traditional songs that Cave left mostly intact and which ones he took liberties with. In every case, it seemed that the changes were designed to shock listeners and not to make the songs better. Additionally, Nick Cave's vocal performance on almost every song on this album was sub-par which was surprising to me b/c, in the past, I've enjoyed his performances. Overall, a very disappointing album and one that I frankly am mystified is on this list.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

A wonderful album. Each track an excellent story of murder in different styles. Features two duets, one with Cave's former partner PJ Harvey and the other with another of Australia's finest exports, Kylie. The duet with Kylie I think represents the attention to songwriting that both artists are appreciated for. Cave and Minogue still perform the track together today. I believe this album, along with the previous Let Love In highlights Nick Cave's final step in transition from hard post-punk toward more experimental alternative rock and the run of albums following Murder Ballads go from strength to strength. It feels like Cave unlocked his USP in Murder Ballads and Let Love In which had always been there but needed the platform and right moment to bring it to the front. Today Nick Cave plays more of a piano man persona but the core link back to Murder Ballads is still at the forefront of his performances.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
1

only listened to the first half but i feel like that's all i needed to hear. idk maybe my mind isn't sophisticated enough but i just don't get it sad face emoji

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

I liked this more than I thought I would. The dark storytelling reminds me a lot of Eminem, with more of a Johnny Cash spin on the beats. I hope death is not the end.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
5

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds open their "Murder Ballads" album with a deep-voiced Nick on "Song of Joy" - a spookish tall tale about a lady named Joy... or possibly about the mere concept of joy itself. Nick's storytelling is brooding and gothy, and I'm here for it! And after 4 minutes of this 6+ song... I can trust this album will be a horror movie for the ears. "Stagger Lee" is another story-telly song about a "bad mother fucker called Stagger Lee" and the bartender does not care. It's campy and fun! And devilishly spooky! "Henry Lee" is the next track on the album and it opens with guest vocals from PJ Harvey (I saw her open for U2 once when I was 11!). Another melancholy tale with accompanying piano and bass AND a pleasantly catching "la la la la" from the duet. The next track, "Lovely Creature" has a build up of tension that is carried throughout, with backing vocals from an unfeatured lady (and more "la la las") that I can only describe as "spooky consistent". "Where the Wild Roses Grow" features vocals by Kylie Minogue (she is the wild rose!) and is another spooky tall tale pop-ish goth song with piano and string arrangements that would make Ben Moody blush. "The Curse of Millhaven" comes in hot and has a head-boppy percussion with an accordion, and it's very fun! Reminds me a lot of My Chemical Romance (Mama comes to mind)... "even God's children they have to die". "The Kindness of Strangers" is yet another murder tale, about a woman named Mary who is tied to her bed with a bullet in her head. This track features an upbeat piano rhythm with guitar and drums. It's easy listening! This track also features a crying woman, which isn't very easy listening, but it is fantastic story telling. The next track, "Crow Jane," continues Nick's storytelling of murder and guns. This song features more piano and even more bass and drums. It's slow paced and has me tapping my foot and bopping my head. "O'Malley's Bar" is the penultimate track on this album, and at 14:28, it's by far the longest song (it's nearly 4 songs worth of song!). Nick does some adlibbing over some piano plucks while singing about a killing spree and how it makes his dick feel, for which I have the utmost respect. My personal favorite line from this track: "And with an ashtray as big as a fucking really big brick I split his skull in half His blood spilled across the bar Like a steaming scarlet brook" After that truly horrific tale of O'Malley's bar, the album comes to a close with "Death Is Not the End" (featuring Anita Lane, Shane MacGowan, PJ Harvey, and Kylie Minogue) - a cover of Bob Dylan - and it's a truly wonderful closer. "Just remember, that death is not the end." A haunting, yet comforting message for the pale, pasty, gothic audience Nick and his friends are surely targeting. Overall I really enjoyed this album. It's weird, it's disturbing, it's haunting. It is simply wonderful! Favorite track: The Curse of Millhaven Honorable mention: O'Malley's Bar

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Fri Jul 02 2021
5

Cinquenta e três. Pobre Sylvia. Nunca lhe encontraram o corpo. Esqueceram-se de procurar no lago. MotA: Stagger Lee "Have mercy on me, sir Allow me to impose on you / I have no place to stay And my bones are cold right through"

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Thu Aug 25 2022
2

56/100: Every song on this album is basically a worse version of “Ballad of Hollis Brown” and the best song on the album, “Death Is Not The End,” is just a Bob Dylan cover anyway. In fact, if you ever wondered what you get when you cross Bob Dylan with Ted Bundy, well here’s your answer. I can’t think of a bigger red flag than someone getting in their car and blasting the song “Stagger Lee.” Reading the lyrics of these songs while listening along was a deeply uncomfortable experience. I guess that speaks to the power of Nick Cave’s writing and it could be argued that’s what makes this album good, but it’s also the reason I’m rating this album so poorly. I can handle and even appreciate a troubling story in a song when it’s written well and has a thought-provoking moral like Bob Dylan’s “Ballad of Hollis Brown,” but this album is not that. I mean what type of message is “The Kindness of Strangers?” The final line is “So mothers keep your girls at home / Don’t let them journey out alone / Tell them this world is full of danger.” This album feels like murder ballads for the sake of writing about murder, which is the most troubling part to me. I can never see a situation in which I would want to listen to this album again, and if anyone ever hears me or anyone else listening to this, please call the police or a therapist.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

This is one of the weirdest things I've listened to in years.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
2

1001 Albums Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Murder Ballads - Song of Joy. Interesting storytelling and vocal style. The orchestration in the background music is interesting. Intriguing but not distracting from the story. - Stagger Lee. Cool vibe and style. Incredibly profane for kind of no reason. Not sure who the audience is for this album yet. - Henry Lee. PJ Harvey gives a nice vocal. It’s nice to have a song with a little more structure after the first two songs. This is the first song that wasn’t 2 minutes too long as well. - Lovely Creature. Really cool background music again that is intriguing and stays out of the way. By this point in the album though, we’re getting dangerously close to “didn’t we already hear this song”. - Where the Wild Roses Grow. Nice to have some nice string arrangement for a change of instrumentation. Kylie Minogue gives a nice vocal performance too and her voice fits well with Nick Cave’s. - The Curse of Millhaven. Sounds like a circus said “okay, we need an opening act where the ringleader comes out and tells a weird story behind a sort of “Devil Went Down to Georgia” vibe from the band. Again, at least 3 minutes too long. - The Kindness of Strangers. Back to our normal instrumentation and back to a 6/8, wandering style. - Crow Jane. Sounds like the kind of thing that happens at a lame open mic night jam. The kind of thing that people think is “jazz” when it 100% isn’t. - O’Malley’s Bar. Finally, a different groove and feel. Reminds me of a Jim Morrison, Doors-style vamp. Nice to have some actual structure again too. Probably the best tune on the album BUT IT’S 14 minutes long for no reason. - Death is Not the End. This is the most “normal” song on the album and feels super loose, like they did this in 1 take in the studio with no rehearsal. I’d rate this album a 2/10. I appreciate the risk and uniqueness but I personally would never choose to listen to it ever again. I know it has an audience but I’m not a member of it.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
1

ehhhhhhh

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Sun May 30 2021
5

El hitazo (jaja) "Where the Wild Roses Grow" es apenas una pizca de este disco tan hermoso. Lo curioso es que esa belleza parta de canciones que enmarcan asesinatos y, con todo, se oye tan seductor todo. Los instrumentos, la voz de Cave, las colaboraciones, las inspiraciones (canciones tradicionales) y los géneros, medio blues, medio folk, medio rock, construyen una atmósfera bastante disfrutable. Se me hace música como atemporal (?). Dicho eso, también, por alguna asociación que quizá se deba mucho a Nick Cave, pienso que es música como para vampiros y otras criaturas de la noche. En fin, lo celebro mucho y entre mis favs, sí, la que es con Kylie, también la que es con PJ sólo por oírla, "The Curse of Millhaven" y "The Kindness of Strangers", pero no hay skips aquí, todo bien. 10/10

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

superb

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Sun May 30 2021
5

Por lo general me cagan las baladas pero sí son de asesinatos y asesinos y gente muerte, pos está chido.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

I loved this album. Why have I never listened to Nick Cave? Definitely need to check out more.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

yaasss lawd, yes!!

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Wed Jul 21 2021
5

Stagger Lee: non so perché mi ricorda un po' i Modest Mouse più moderni nonostante i contenuti espliciti. Lovely Creature: pure questo c'ha il basso un po' Modest Mouse. Cioè chiaramente so i Modest Mouse che hanno il basso Nick Cave & Bad Seeds. In conclusione: sono le due di notte e io aspettavo Nick Cave al varco. Non lo avevo mai ascoltato veramente prima di oggi e devo dire di essere rimasto davvero stupito. Questo album mi ha totalmente sorpreso, ha chiaramente ispirato molta della musica che mi piace. La prima metà dell'album per me è da 5, l'interpretazione di Kylie Minogue è fantastica come pure PJ Harvey fa la sua figura. La seconda parte per me è più da 4, nonostante O'Malley's bar sia comunque un gran pezzo è un po' eccessivo. La cover di Dylan nel finale è un tocco da maestro. Per me sto album è un 4.75 ma non posso dargli 4 e quindi, finalmente, dò il mio primo 5 ad un album che non avevo mai ascoltato (ma il primo morale è Stevie). Sicuramente lo riascolterò e approfondirò anche il vecchio Nick.

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

Hah hah, this album is gloriously deranged! I've long been a huge fan of it. Fave track - "The Curse of Milhaven", I mean, c'mon, almost every verse has a laugh out loud funny line. On this listen through, "Lovely Creature" really stood out to me, too...

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

Cool lyrics telling vivid stories, awesome style

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Sun Dec 19 2021
5

I already adore this wonderful silly album. Stagger Lee deserves awards just for its ridiculous use of the word motherfucker. It's hilarious. Henry Lee with PJ Harvey and Wild Roses with Kylie are both darker and moodier - and have a nice balance - Cave is murderer in one and victim in the other. Curse of Millhaven and O Mallets Bar are the highlights for me. Gloriously dark silliness. The latter is 15 minutes long bat feels like three. And Death is not the End is like Band Aid but not for idiots. Perfect perfect perfect.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Wow

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Fri Jan 14 2022
5

p788, 1996, 5 stars Nick Cave :) all the favourites: Stagger Lee, Henry Lee, Curse of Milhaven, O'Malley's Bar

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Stagger Lee, Henry Lee, Lovely creature, Where the wild roses grow

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Wed Mar 02 2022
5

Very good

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

During their hot streak.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

Znałem. Nick Cave jest świetny, mega klimat, faktycznie album ma sens głównie liryczny i słuchanie go ot tak w tle nie pozwala w pełni doświadczyć jego jakości. Wokalistki pasują do utworów, w których są. Album mroczny, brutalny, nietypowy. Highlighty - Song of Joy (świetnie się tam rozwija akcja) i Death is Not The End

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

Zdecydowanie nie zawiodłam się tytułem - pierwszy album od dłuższego czasu, który przesłuchałam uważnie zamiast tylko puścić w tle i generalnie takie 4.5/5, ale daję 5 za super teksty.

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

I try to hold out on giving out fives, especially so soon to each other, but man, I love this album. Some insane compositions throughout. A

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

Great album. I think on a single listen, I'd give this a 4. However, I suspect it'd grow on me with a few more listens even more, so I'm going to give it a 5/5.

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Sat Apr 30 2022
5

Exceptional. I obviously knew the duet with Kylie, but I loved pretty much all the other songs too. Not quite a concept album, but with a clear theme, and musically really interesting

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Mon May 16 2022
5

10/10 it’s been a while since I heard a Nick Cave album, he has so an incredible sense of world building he really plays to his strengths and creates something phenomenal every time, one of the greatest artists I know and probably one of my new favorite albums

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Mon May 30 2022
5

WE ARE SEEING NICK CAVE TODAY

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Mon Jun 06 2022
5

This is an awesome album. Is it gospel rock style? That's honestly the best I can describe it. Not gospel content, though. So much fun to listen to

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Tue Jun 14 2022
5

PSA: I've loved, worshipped, and adored Nick Cave since I first heard The Birthday Party back in the early 80s. He can do no wrong for me. Every album is uniquely Nick, every album is magnificent, and this is one of his finest albums. Dark, brooding, expletive ridden, and hilariously funny. I often smile at the thought of the many people that bought the album because they liked Where The Wild Roses Grow. Oh to have seen their faces when Stagger Lee kicked in.

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Tue Jun 28 2022
5

Heel duister album, Ballads afgewisseld met af en toe iets steviger. En eindigend met een soort van positieve noot (al klinkt het licht ironisch) Topalbum wel

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Wed Jun 29 2022
5

All I can say after this, is: "Wat kon Seedorf nou gebeuren toen hij van elf meter schoot? Er is leven, er is leven na de dood."

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Tue Jul 05 2022
5

Super album. Can't wait to see the great man again later this year.

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Sat Jul 09 2022
5

Finally, this is an album with some gristle and grit by Nick Cave that I can absolutely get behind.

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Sat Jul 09 2022
5

I know an album will find it's way into my heart when it has a combination of excellent vision and excellent execution. This album knows what it wanted to be, and achieved that idea flawlessly. Not to mention, the dark vintage Americana vibe that runs through this album's blood is always an appreciated aesthetic. This is a new favorite of mine for sure.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

Interesting. But feels slightly cliche in a way. But worth a listen

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

cool

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Mon Sep 05 2022
5

Exceptional. Sucks you into another darker world and holds you there.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

Excellent!

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Literally the perfect mix of rock and country, could listen to this voice for hours

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Sun Oct 16 2022
5

Holy crap. How could an entire album of songs describing multiple murders be so entertaining? My first listen to Nick Cave, and I can see this is his forte. Sort of like Tom Waits in his genius, but gleefully darker. When Waits mourns it is with his whole heart and the remorse is terrible. When Cave mourns, as in the case of Mary Bellows in the song Kindness of Strangers, it’s almost matter of fact; the empathy of the mortician. A wild ride that makes you almost laugh at how grisly some of the songs are, with excellent guest appearances and fabulous performances by all the musicians. There may not be anything like this album.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

Another rainy day album that was nice to listen to in the background of working.

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

Zeker een album wat in mijn ogen iconisch is. Toen ik het voor het eerst hoorde was ik onder de indruk en dat is zo gebleven. Lekker Nick (en jij hebt het ook zeer goed gedaan Kylie)

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Super album, murders good…

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Lovely PJ Harvey duet.

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Mon May 17 2021
4

Dark. Great lyrics.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

2/8 Criminal audio adventure. Standout Tracks: Stagger Lee, The Curse of Millhaven, O’Malley’s Bar

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

Honestly? Decadent. I liked the theme that this album had going for it, and given everything I've heard about Nick Cave's voice being polarizing, I thought he sounded great! 4 stars.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Very romantic!

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

Great record

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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

"The Kindness of Strangers" and "Where the Wild Roses Grow" are favorite. Another nice album by Nick Cave.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

First time listening to a Nick Cave album and really enjoyed it. Liked the macabre themes to all the songs, and the dark humour.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Nice bit of nostalgia. Listened 21/1/21

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

A total gem! Timeless. Adding this to my Road Trip playlist.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Enjoyable, but a little weird.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

Pretty interesting. A little too monotone on most songs. Stagger Lee was awesome.

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Sun Jun 20 2021
4

Wow, that was quite a ride. I've always like Nick Cave but haven't delved too deeply into his music, but that may be about to change. I feel like I need to sit down and read all the lyrics of these songs like I would a book of short stories. Intense, scary, and violent, but also beautiful. 4 stars.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Not my favorite Cave - I feel like some of the other records let the band shine as much as his voice - but I mean I definitely enjoy it. Does it need all these guest vocalists? I think I’d take a version of “Death is not the end” sung by Cave only over what’s recorded here. And I will stop picking those nits and get on with my life.

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Worth to hear again

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

I really wanted to like this album, but the stories that the songs told didn't really do much for me. The songs all kind of sounded the same.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

Here we go! Back on the good stuff! I say this is a Nick Cave fan, that sometimes his music can feel faintly gimmicky; peer past his almost aggressive coolness and there's a great writer, still, but his scope is quite limited. Nonetheless, this one's right in his sweet spot, and in mine too if I'm honest.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

Never heard anything by him before so thanks

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Sun May 30 2021
4

Muy cool estás fases de Nick Cave darketo. Sobre todo la primera mitad del disco. Por ahí vi lamentablemente que uno de sus primeros discos, aún más oscuro que esto, está entre los que tienen las calificaciones más bajas de esta lista jaja. Anyway, los gritos con la carácteristica voz grave de Nick me parecen geniales, en Stagger Lee muy chido eso con su breakdown del final. La otra que me gustó fue Henry Lee, pues claro porque la que hizo con Pj harvey y pues Pj Havey = <3. The Curse of Millhaven me dio risa por las fuertes vibras de Aurelio Voltaire. Mood: steampunk baladista darketón.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Matthias Sammer

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Thu May 20 2021
4

Aika kohtalokkaan kuuloisia biisejä tällä teemalevyllä. Kivasti oli erilaisia biisejä ja kaikissa kuitenkin samankaltainen painostava tunnelma. Where the wild roses grow on tietty se hittibiisi, mutta levyn viimeinen kappale death is not the end oli ehkä nyt ainakin tällä kertaa se paras. Sen verran kurkkasin wikipediasta, että Bob Dylan oli sitä biisiä ollut kirjoittamassa. Mielestäni moni muu biisi levyllä kuulosti enemmän Dylanin tulkinnalta, kuin tuo viimeinen, melodian omaava biisi :D

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

Oooh you're hard, Nick, talking about murder and death and dark stuff.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
4

Loved this! Lots of great tracks

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

liked the sound, a little bluesy and seemed similar to some Johnny Cash I have heard before. Overall, unexpected surprise.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

nick cave królem jest

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

This just gives me Edgar Allan Poe vibes and I don't know how to explain it but I love it. It has some questionable lyrivs, but well, the album is called Murder Ballads for a reason

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Dark

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Fri Jul 30 2021
4

Great but not Nick’s best

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Wed Aug 04 2021
4

NSFW awesome

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Fri Aug 06 2021
4

Automatic 4 stars for Where the Wild Roses Grow

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

En general el concepto del disco me gustó mucho y creo que valdría la pena dedicarle una oída a profundidad a las letras. Mi único (gran) pero, es que la voz de Nick Cave (especialmente combindada con lo largo de algunas canciones) me llega a fastidiar bastante.

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

4.5| que buen disco, noto mucho Leonard Cohen en su tesitura pero nada que moleste. La manera de contar las historias y de igual manera que el disco pasado de Lou Reed muy gris y macabro por hablar de muertes, me gustó mucho

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

A pesar de que obviamente el estilo y género de canciones es muy conocido no tenía conocimiento de que se les llamara formalmente "murder ballads." La única vez que había escuchado el término pensé, sin darle mayor importancia, que había sido inventado para una presentación de los Tiger Lillies (que recomiendo ampliamente); todo esto no viene mucho al caso pero se me hace curioso que en todos estos años nunca me tope con el término formal. Al leer sobre el disco y el concepto pensé de entrada que iban a ser covers de canciones folclóricas clásicas del género y, aunque si vi que hay un par me pareció muy interesante que la mayoría son composición suya o al menos de creación moderna. A Nick Cave realmente llegué a conocerlo por la conexión de constantes colaboraciones con Blixa Bargeld (quien hizo quizá de las canciones más interesantes musicalmente en el disco a mi parecer - Lovely Creature, y quien debería estar en esta lista y lo más probable no esté btw) y se me hace un proyecto que varia mucho en sus discos pero siempre ofrece algo musicalmente interesante. En este caso también ofrecen a mi parecer algo líricamente macabro y delicioso con una cuenta de víctimas que si no me equivoco es como de más de 50 al menos si sumamos los muertitos de todas las canciones. Hace sin duda honra a su nombre, me agradó mucho y aunque siempre he pensado que Nick Cave suena a alguien imitando la voz de Leonar Cohen (que no digo que lo haga pero a eso suena) en este caso queda muy bien para el mood del proyecto. Las colaboraciones ya sean con PJ Harvey o Kylie o etc bien a secas, aunque buenas las canciones ni siquiera se me hacen las mejores del disco. Todo un disco que aunque al parecer surgió entre capricho/reto/broma terminó con algo tremendamente cohesivo de calidad, muy distinto y único.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

Jedan dosta dobar zimski album. Puno albuma gospodin Nick i njegova škvadra imaju ispod svog pojasa za koje bi se reklo da su fantastični, ovaj nije toliko baš, ali je jako dobar. Dakle nije mi u top 5, ali svejedno zaslužuje veliki rejting.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
4

Dark, dark tracks - in case the title doesn't give it away. Songs focused of death and murder and the vocals and music fits all of these songs perfectly. Best Tracks: Stagger Lee; The Curse of Millhaven; O'Malley's Bar

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Wed Aug 25 2021
4

Spooky, raw, indebted to history

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Fri Sep 10 2021
4

Nick Cave is like if a vampire was telling you about his day. Had a hard time getting through this, even though I actually enjoyed pretty much every track. Took me nearly three days! Don't know why. Nick Cave will always make me think of Wings of Desire/Himmel Uber Berlin.

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Fri Sep 24 2021
4

Not my kind of music at all, but songwriting is excellent

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

Dark and theatrical.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

A near perfect album. An dark atmosphere of terrible tales told around a camp fire. At turns viscious, funny, sad and beautiful. Definitely worth a listen.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

3.5 - CD gave me a chuckle so we will round up today :)

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Mon Dec 06 2021
4

Exactly what it says on the tin. And it's fucking incredible. I'll admit that when I first listened, I accidentally had it on shuffle so it went from tracks 1->2->6 and I had quite the whiplash when I had to go back to track 3, the weakest track on the album, when track 6 is one of the strongest. I had to make sure that didn't cloud my judgement of the album as a whole, and thankfully most everything else on here is incredibly strong. All about murder, of course. Probably the best song on the album, which I really didn't expect, was a full fifteen minute long track called O'Malley's Bar, it doesn't develop much musically from front to back but the lyrical story and sheer strength of the music already there keeps you hooked all the way through. It's incredible. Great fucking songs on here, even if the album isn't consistent all the way through.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Fantastic of course and probably more consistent than some other albums.

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Wed Dec 15 2021
4

dope! genau likas ally

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Sun Dec 19 2021
4

Heavy heavy album. Nick is such an incredible story teller, maybe the best in rock history. His talent for putting real meat on the bones of the characters that inhabit his tales of murder and mayhem is sans pareil. And the accompaniment and arrangements of the Bad Seeds enhance the drama. 4 🌟

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Mon Dec 20 2021
4

I didn't like this upon release, but it's really grown on me over the years

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Thu Dec 23 2021
4

Inimitable.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
4

A good album this with some great songs, not least "Where The Wild Roses Grow" with the , then, unlikely pairing with disco/pop "Diva" Kylie Minogue. "Stagger Lee" "The Curse of Millhaven" and "Death Is Not the End" great stuff and rightfully here in my opinion!

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Sat Feb 05 2022
4

Iconic

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

For the most part utterly depressing, but I did find myself getting into it more as the album went on. Especially like the Curse of Millhaven and O'Malley's Bar, "And with an ashtray as big as a fucking really big brick I split his skull in half" is a phenomenal lyric

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Sat Feb 12 2022
4

4.5 - It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call this record an artistic triumph. Cave’s voice is a deep croon that’s equally capable of frothing with rage, brooding with regret and choking with desperation. What an unmatched voice. Some songs unfold as poetic eulogies (“Where the Wild Roses Grow”) and others like dramatizations of grizzly crime scenes (“O’Malley’s Bar”). The instrumental backing adds subtle depth and amazing atmosphere. In particular, “O’Malley’s Bar” feels like you’re actually listening to the killer in the act. Great contributions by PJ Harvey and others to boot!

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Fri Feb 25 2022
4

I actually really like a lot of modern "murder-folk" like Amigo The Devil, Tejon Street Corner Thieves, and the Bridge City Sinners. This feels like an interesting exploration of Grisly ballads long before that recent explosion in popularity. || Only a few songs really stuck out to me. Feels like a 3.5, but I'll round up.

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Sat Mar 12 2022
4

Muy interesante

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Tue Mar 22 2022
4

Some great tracks. Great lyrics as ever from Nick Cave. Some tracks reminded me of early Pogues - not a bad thing at all.

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Thu Mar 24 2022
4

Excellent storytelling, interesting features.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

Less a collection of songs and more a series of horror stories set to music. Upsetting and horrifying but beautifully mesmerizing. Lovely melodies belie their ugly lyrical content. The cover art is an eerie match to the tales inside. Unique and finely crafted. My only complaint is that O'Malley's Bar goes on and on and on. Death Is Not The End seems like it might be a nice ending to all the brutality but even its lyrics aren't particularly hopeful.

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Wed Apr 06 2022
4

I first encountered the term "murder ballad" when I was reading Wikipedia about Dwight Yoakam's album "Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room." There was a link to an entire article about them. I realized that I was familiar with them--just one of those things you don't really think about until you wonder why there are so many of these old murderous songs that are often beautiful sounding...like the title song from that Dwight Yoakam album. I also read that Nick Cave created this album as a home for "O'Malley's Bar," since on its own I think it would cause lots and lots of concern. (I was still concerned. It's a very concerning song.) But so now the album's title makes it very clear what to expect. Murder. And lots of it. Although, I'm not sure these all count as the sort of beautiful folk ballads that go with the second part of the title. Mind you, "Where the Wild Roses Grow" and "Henry Lee" are right there on point. Beautiful, but...oh! "Stagger Lee," however... not sure I could imagine an Appalachian waif of yore singing that one. But it's been a while since a song brought me so many jaw-dropping surprises after surprises. Whoa! Whoa! I haven't really been able to process this album yet. "The Curse of Millhaven" made me feel like I was hit by a Mack truck, driven by a 15-year-old. This was a trip to a very disturbing dark side. I don't know if I liked that, but it's definitely made an impact on me, and I can't say it wasn't absolutely fascinating. I don't think I'll forget this one soon.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

5 Bats subtotal, minus 1 Bat for a distasteful and flippant use of Stagger Lee.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

A R'n'R Bloodbath.

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

Holy shit. Am I becoming a NIck Cave fan? Yes I am. 4

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

Yeah I think I get Nick Cave now. "Ghosteen" was kinda dull but this is dark and captivating. Wonderfully textured atmospheres, dramatic vocalisations, theatrical lyrics, it's got it all. "Stagger Lee" is so fucking cool and disturbing and the culminating noise and screams at the end were haunting. Album really paints a vivid picture of tortured minds. Kylie Minogues feature on "Where the Wild Roses Grow" is beautiful. "The Curse of Millhaven" is a great catchy folk song about of murderous rampage.

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

Already listened to it

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

Hey man Just remember that death is not the end. I really liked this one. It sometimes seems like gibberish, like old ass stories some dude would tell me while I'm sharing a pint with him in some fucking crusty pub. The backing vocals sort of forming this fucked up ghostly Choir. I don't know I liked it.

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Sat Apr 23 2022
4

Yes! Wanted some Nick Cave on here. Very atmospheric and emotive singing, I enjoyed the collaborations with PJ Harvey and Kylie Minogue. The sombre tone wasn't what I wanted today, but the album is very good for the right mood.

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Tue May 03 2022
4

Just fantastic storytelling. One of the great captivating voices

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Mon May 16 2022
4

Seem like the algorithm picked up that I like the last Nick Cave album that came up (The Boatman's call). This too is good, although desolate as hell - but with a title like that what was I expecting? Hard times for Mr Cave with another of his sons recently having passed away. The man is already in a dark spot so can only think where this will take him

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Fri May 20 2022
4

I only vaguely knew of Nick Cave before listening, I had a hazy recollection of the duet he did with Kylie (on this cut). I wasn't looking forward to listening too much given the rather grisly concept of the album, and certainly this collection of songs channel a macabre, dark, grim essence. And yet, as much as it is quite a hard listen in places, I found this album oddly compelling; there are some really catchy tunes and Cave's growling vocals suit the subject matter perfectly. After listening, I found myself confused... had I enjoyed it? It certainly evoked feelings of disgust and yet also allure, and maybe that is the whole point of the album.

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Mon May 23 2022
4

Dark, brooding and overall fantastic.

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Tue May 24 2022
4

Dis my jam. Although, I did. It realise how many of these had been parodied by Mark and Lard so could not take them all seriously. Still loved it though.

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Mon May 30 2022
4

A wonderful, incredibly dark and morbid album. Cave's late '80s to early 2000s run was pretty exceptional and, while this isn't my favourite in there, it's got some standout songs and a very defined style

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Mon Jun 06 2022
4

Älskar så gott som alla låtar och hur snuskigt, våldsamt och elaksinnad Cave är.... Crow Jane är kinda tråkig dock...

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Mon Jun 06 2022
4

Very close to giving this a five, It’s just so well executed all around. Even looking past the intriguingly morbid stories being sung (clearly being the focus), each song brings it’s own set of accompanying sounds, like organ, banging drums, strings, choirs, duets and more. A captivating listen

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Mon Jun 06 2022
4

Vissa sku kalla de ett album, personligen kallar jag det getat med såsen

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Wed Jun 08 2022
4

Song Of Joy gets this off to a spooky start. Curse Of Millhaven is rad. Wild Rose is okay but not my favorite on the album. O'Malley's Bar is a long string of murderous delight.

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Tue Jun 28 2022
4

What a story ! It feels kind of like an audio book, but with songs. It was a nice experience.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
4

Impending death has never sounded this hectic, manic, romantic; Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds offered ten songs of grisly demise in the ways that only they can, finding new routes towards these ironically called ballads and giving them new life. This is, also, perhaps the only album that contains the talents of Kylie Minogue and PJ Harvey either on the same or different track. The only way for this band to go after this is up and up they will go. Favorites: Stagger Lee, Henry Lee, Lovely Creatures, Where the Wild Roses Grow, The Curse of Millhaven, O'Malley's Bar, Death is Not the End.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
4

Excellent Nick Cave & Bad Seeds album - was slightly disappointed when it was released due to their impressive previous album, Let Love In. ...25+ years later, I still find Murder Ballads a bit too uneven for giving 5 stars - a solid 4.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
4

4/5

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Tue Jul 12 2022
4

7/10/2022 - ALBUM #164 Today's Album: "Murder Ballads" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Music is something that is supposed to elicit a reaction out of the listener and make them feel something. Happiness, excitement, sadness, and even tripping out are all common reactions in this regard. However, sometimes you come across a project that is intended to make you feel something you’ve never been made to feel before and in this album’s case, that feeling is dread. Now, you might hear me say that and think the experience was dreadful or that the music is overbearing, but by dread I’m talking about that combination of disgust and intrigue that you experience when witnessing something dark and gruesome. It’s almost like watching a car accident or a crime documentary and being unable to look away, and the ladder of which is very apt of this comparison as this album, “Murder Ballads” is exactly what it sounds like; 10 tracks depicting the murder of various people in various ways. Each of these stories feels like it explores murder from a different perspective and the product of that is a bunch of tracks that feel quite diverse in terms of their story, even if you know what’s going to happen at the end. For that reason, I really have to say the songwriting on this album very nearly approaches a state of perfection. The atmosphere of this album is also something that should be admired. The mellow bass and piano playing throughout the project provide a slow and melancholic backdrop and I think it really helps steer the attention to the fucked up imagery being created by the lyricism. I also give this album a lot of credit for breaking up some of the slower moments with more lively tracks like Lovely Creature and The Curse of Millhaven and I think it also does a good job implementing female vocalists into the mix on tracks like Henry Lee, Where the Wild Roses Grow, and Death Is Not The End to give the vocals more diversity. Now, with a description like that, how could I not be recommending this album to absolutely everyone? Well, a lot of the enjoyment to be gotten out of this record is up to whether or not you can handle dark imagery, dreary atmospheres, and deep vocals, and although I had a great time exploring this record and hearing these dark stories, I feel that it’s not something that warrants a ton of repeat listens. Additionally, despite everything working really well together as a cohesive piece, I don’t feel like many of the songs were able to stand out on their own or offer a solid tune in the face of the dense and often overloaded lyricism. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I think this album should have been presented any differently because I think for what it’s going for, it does a great job, but it does definitely lose some points for being generally inaccessible. Overall, this is a fantastic artistic piece with a dense and dreary atmosphere and really unique songwriting. Although it might not be immediately appealing to a general listener, I think it deserves to be experienced by anyone that can handle music with a bit of a narrative edge. Give this one a listen if you’re tough enough to handle some dark imagery and patient enough to sit through it all being told in a very laid back fashion. Highlights: Song of Joy, Henry Lee, Lovely Creature, Where the Wild Roses Grow, Death is Not the End Score: 7/10 Uniquely dark and twisted stories presented through some methodically-created atmospheric grooves.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
4

Love a good murder ballad. Really love a whole record of them. I'm kind of so so on Nick Cave most of the time. Some of his stuff is great, some doesn't really impress. But I had a good time with this album.

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

J'étais content d'écouter un album de Nick Cave and the bad seeds après avoir eu Abattoir Blues. Ghostseen and boatman call mon laissé un peu perplexe, car vraiment weird.. Cependant, Murder Ballads remonte la coche encore. Peut-etre pas au niveau de abattoir blues quie st plus de mon style. J'ai bien aimé Hendry Lee avec PJ harvey et les chansons plus traditionnelle de l'album. 4.25

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Sat Aug 20 2022
4

Cold and dark. It sounds like Tom Waits but without the rough, reptilian energy. This one is smooth yet thick, like blood. It's a bit boring in some places, but overall, it's quite a ride.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

I enjoyed this. Heard the name - obz, but not actually heard the music before. I’m not sure what I was expecting, I guess something along these lines, Tom Waits/Leonard Cohen etc. and it’s not miles off. Sinister yet a sense of fun that kept me entertained to the end.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

I have always been skeptical of Nick Cave for a pretty absurd reason, simply because he resembles someone I know that I am extremely skeptical of. But I have never doubted that I would enjoy his music. I was told this was maybe not the best entry point to him, but I absolutely loved this and am looking forward to more of his albums (assuming there are more) on this list.

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Sun Sep 11 2022
4

Surprisingly good.

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Tue Sep 13 2022
4

very gruesome lyrics, very spooky, Halloween vibes, Murder Ballads for sure Liked the singer 7/10

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Wed Sep 21 2022
4

Listened to it twice so I must have enjoyed it. His voice reminds me of a pirate.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

Man monologues over mediocre instrumentals

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

Definitely an interesting album, found myself really getting into its tales.

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Sun Oct 09 2022
4

Yeah pretty good

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Thu Oct 13 2022
4

interesting halloween music

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Sat Oct 15 2022
4

Never listened to Nick Cave. After this, I'll need to check out more. For an album called Murder Ballads, there's a lot more musical variety than I expected. Where the Wild Roses Grow is gorgeous with the string arrangements and duet with Kylie Minogue. The other two traditional tracks (with adaptations) Stagger Lee and Henry Lee are also standouts. Death Is Not the End is a change of pace which makes a good closing track to what is an album far less bleak than expectations.

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Sun Oct 16 2022
4

Very nice! This was very dark, and many of the songs were story rich, which added another level of interest to the album. Nick Cave's gloomy, brooding voice, with melancholy piano and choppy guitar is my kind of thing.

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Tue Oct 25 2022
4

I love a bit nick cave. Interesting concept for an album but the end felt a bit corny. Fav Song: Stagger Lee Least fav song: Death is not the end Fav quote: "I'm a bad mother fucker, i'll crawl over 50 good pussies to get to one fat boys ass"

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Wed Oct 26 2022
4

Enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I was going to when the first track kicked off

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

Varsin nautinnollista synkistelyä maanantaihin. Jos Nick Cave olis syntyny tähän aikaan niin sillä varmaan olis True Crime-podcast. Onneks ehti alta pois!

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

Hieno! Aivan kuten suuri osa Nick Caven muustakin tuotannosta. Tämä lienee ainakin se suuri kaupallinen menestys. Toimii silti kokonaisuutena vaikka megahitin sisältääkin. 4/5

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

One that I know surprisingly better than I realised. Nick Cave is polarising - some might say a bit Mr Marmite. Personally, I like him, but have to be in the mood - and this album seems to ooze autumnal / Halloween vibes, so perfect for this time of year.

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Wed Nov 09 2022
4

Very interesting. Very dark. Very folky. Like a super dark version of the Corries. Some of it was good, some I was hoping it would end. Really liked Death is not the end.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
4

At times gorgeous, lovely collaborations, hilariously funny, and awesomely performed on one hand, at times a bit dragged out and a bit dated production wise. It’s a great album just not perfect.

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Sat Nov 19 2022
4

Op dat rare polka-nummer na vond ik dit fantastisch!

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Sat Nov 19 2022
4

Nick en zijn slechte zaadjes hebben best veel goede albums uitgebracht. Ik snap eigenlijk niet waarom ik dit toch niet veel draai.

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Sun Nov 20 2022
4

Ah yes, "Music To Be Murdered By"

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Mon Nov 21 2022
4

Equal parts dark/violent and hilarious. Probably not Nick Cave's most acclaimed album, but it's my favorite of what I've heard over the years.

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Tue Nov 22 2022
4

very good writing, very spooky

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Mon Nov 28 2022
4

Best Song: Where The Wild Roses Grow. Excellent contrast with Kylie Minogue. Worst Song: Henry Lee. I think PJ Harvey is a nice counterpoint to Nick Cave, but I find the la's a bit annoying after a while. Overall: Lyrically very dense. Clearly poetic, which I think will require several listens to extract their meaning. Cave knows how to use his voice within the confines of what it's capabilities. Definitely feels like it is striving for (and succeeding at) being Art with a capital A.

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Mon Dec 05 2022
4

U OK hon?

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Mon Dec 05 2022
4

I'll never look for this kind of music, but the 1001 list teaches me how (and maybe why) I like Nick Cave. It's not my kind of song, but it's always impressive how much I enjoy their albums.

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Mon Dec 05 2022
4

Concept

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Mon May 10 2021
3

växte på en

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

Väldigt creepy, inget jag skulle lyssna på annars men gör det den är till för. Instrumenten är snyggt byggda kring Nick och han gör en sjuk insats

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

Like a rock opera

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Fri Mar 19 2021
3

Strange album. I kinda liked it but only out of amusement. Does it belong on this list?

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Wed Feb 10 2021
3

Cool vibes. Love his deep voice. Works well with the album. Fav track is the duet with Kylie Minogue

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Wed Feb 17 2021
3

3.0

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Thu May 20 2021
3

Tämä levy oli joskus ensikosketukseni Nick Caveen hittibiisi Where the Wild Roses Grow:n kautta. Hieman vaikeampi lähestyttävä kuin listalla aiemmin ollut Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus. Työnteon taustamusiikkina välillä jopa häiritsevän poukkoilevaa menoa. Rauhassa keskittyen kuunnellessa tämä toimi paremmin, mutta silti preferoin hieman rauhallisempaa Caven tuotantoa. Death Is Not The End oli miellyttävä päätös levylle.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

Only listened to first few songs

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Fri Jan 15 2021
3

Decent album with good story telling, it's an album of murder ballads

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Tue Feb 09 2021
3

Haven't listened to an album this dependent on narrative song structures in a while. Some tracks definitely overlong, but this is an LP meant to be taken in as a whole.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
3

Murder Ballads is an appropriate name for this album. I didn't hate it, but it's not something I would listen to on the regular. I appreciate the artistry of it.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
3

Meh. It's violent and depressing.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
3

I don't love albums that really demand my attention lyrically, but I did enjoy this more than the ABC - Love album we listened to earlier. Favorite track - The curse of millhaven

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Sat Feb 06 2021
3

Me ha sorprendido un par de canciones chulas. Buena cadencia y ritmo.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
3

I’ll pass on “stagger lee”. I don’t hate the music style but I don’t think I love it either.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
3

Nice, very moody.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
3

Saved Prior: None Saved Off Rip: Song of Joy, The Curse of Millhaven Cutting Edge: O'Malley's Bar Overall Notes: Was a LOT better the third time compared to the first and second. Great storyteller, but I prefer it when my music does something beyond telling a good story. Similar to Marvin Gaye in that I need to be in the mood to enjoy it.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
3

Actually quite good fun, notwithstanding the subject matter. Fairly eclectic covering much of Cave/Bad Seeds styles.

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Wed Mar 10 2021
3

Loved it! Loved the style, loved the variety of voices and styles, the use of irony, loved all the murder and death and darkness. I thought it was brilliant. Didn't appreciate the message that we should all keep our daughters at home because of the big bad world, but I don't think he'd get away with that now so I'm going to overlook it.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
3

Był okej

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Fri May 07 2021
3

Exactly as the title suggests. Super vivid stories told in each song. It was definitely something different, I don’t know if I would listen again

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Mon May 10 2021
3

Not my cup of tea, but very well made for what it is. Last two songs, though a tad repetitive, are the highlights for me. “Death Is Not The End” is a perfect darkly optimistic finish in both concept and execution for this mostly bleak album

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Wed Jul 21 2021
3

Non tutto quello che fa mi piace, ma comunque trovo Nick Cave un personaggio interessante. In quest'album la sensazione è la stessa: è interessante ma non tutto quello che ho ascoltato mi è piaciuto. La cosa che non mi spiego è come, nonostante sia spesso incompatibile con i miei gusti, riesca a non farmi schifo e anzi, rimanga ad ascoltarlo. Tranne Where the Wild Roses Grow che ho trovato troppo banale e al secondo ascolto ho skippato. Tra il 2 e il 3. Ma 2 mi sembra troppo poco.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
3

Oli siinä biisejä ainakin

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Mon Jul 26 2021
3

Good but not my favourite Nick Cave album.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
3

This album is a hoot! Super theatrical, great storytelling, decent musicianship. I'd keep it around for kitsch value, but probably wouldn't do much "pleasure" listening. The Kylie Minogue duet is clearly an outlier as the most accessible song on the album, but I also dug some of the earthier, more raw tracks too.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
3

I didn't try to listen to this too hard. Maybe there's something there, but I couldn't find it on one pass... and frankly spent a lot of time listening to my favorite dental hygienist, Jane Weaver this weekend.

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Sun Aug 22 2021
3

I guess you have to give him credit for sticking to a theme and carrying it all the way through. Definitely story-time song in the Nick Cave style about death. They range in gratuitousness, but are generally consistent and though the last song is probably weaker than the rest, they keep a steady balance through the album. if you're in the mood... this will do it.

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Mon Sep 06 2021
3

Mostly found this overwrought. Certainly interesting, but I can’t matinees sitting down and choosing to listen through this for pleasure.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
3

Extremely uncomfortable but also very good. I am torn. Might go back to this. 3 for now

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Sat Sep 11 2021
3

This one is somewhat weird and also rather a mixed bag. Sort of sounds like bad guy songs from Disney cartoon movies. The quality also widely varies. For most of the album I wanted to round this up to a 4 from a 3.5. But O'Malley's Bar went on for way too long and then the last song Death Is Not The End was horrible. The album was at least quite interesting and had some very good parts. So this could have been a really good one. But it is what it is.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
3

I like the idea of this album and had a good time listening to it. The songwriting style gets a little repetitive, but overall a good listen. I don’t think it’s something I’d put on frequently though, it’s just a little too out there for me to listen to much.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
3

Story

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Fri Oct 08 2021
3

Great music and lyrics but super depressing..

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Wed Oct 20 2021
3

Note to self, try this one again. It was nasty and interesting. A little on the fence about its artistic merit, but it's definitely appropriate for this kind of list.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
3

6/10

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Fri Nov 19 2021
3

Got interesting towards the middle but I wasn't a fan really

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Mon Nov 22 2021
3

So conflicted. I feel like I should love, love, love this with the darkness and mood, but did not connect.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
3

7/10

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Fri Dec 17 2021
3

cool concept, executed fairly well

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Sun Dec 19 2021
3

Dark folky madness. Cool concept but also a bit one-trick-pony-ish.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
3

Dark, stories set to music. Not really a bop or a vibe as the kid say

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Tue Feb 01 2022
3

What a weird concept. Songs were fine, but just so out of left field I don't think I particularly want to listen to it again.

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