dinsdag 29 oktober 2019

Ghosteen. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Slowly but surely Nick Cave tries to disappear into his music. Listening to Ghosteen it is a matter of moments before his energy is sucked inside creating a musical black hole where no music can escape from. The only thing left to do is do a Houdini and veer off into a totally different direction. I had thought 'Skeleton Tree' would be the end of the line of this Nick Cave incarnation, but it isn't. Far from even. With Ghosteen Nick Cave has created a new level of himself. Although the album is credited to the Bad Seeds as well, there isn't much for them to do on Ghosteen.

My very first impression was 'what am I listening to'? Is there anything happening on this album'? and thoughts of that kind followed soon. It wasn't until the third listen session things started to change. Having read this is a masterpiece, made me persevere. And was I right to do so (and of course those reviewers I read were)!

My second impression was different. With Ghosteen Cave has created modern church music for the non-religious and perhaps true believers as well. The paradise like scene on the cover is too serene, yet the serenity is not desecrated on the album. The music can be meditated on. When will the first track to be heard on .No's show on Concertzender. Kairos? It must be soon. 'Sun Forest' could be the first choice I'd say.

Readers of this blog know I came late to Nick Cave. One of my dorm friends and still a good friend, had either the first or second solo album and I couldn't listen to it for a second. I can't tell whether I can now, I haven't tried since. It was only 'Push The Sky Away' that brought me on board. The LP is in my home even. With Ghosteen Cave has made another impression on me. Of course this depressing music is not for every day. At the right time, like now at time of writing, being tired from a long day and a minor lack of sleep, it is just right. The songs put me in a contemplative mood, being able to oversee it all.

Nick Cave searched for and found his higher register voice, showing a frailty that has nothing to do with his tough guy, junkie image of old. Having reached his early 60s it is almost like he is trying to make his peace with everything. I read somewhere that Ghosteen will be his last album. I can almost imagine it to be true. If it is, with Ghosteen Nick Cave has created his own 'Blackstar'. The album in which all comes together. Of course Warren Ellis, again, is instrumental in making all the sounds surrounding Cave's voice and piano, it is Nick Cave who makes a lasting impression on me.

So with Ghosteen Nick Cave has created his own cathedral. Gothic like the Medieval churches adorning city centres in many European city. Dark with shards of coloured light from the painted glass. Mystical like these places were intended to be. Religious in its seriousness and contemplation. When he sings "I am beside you, Look for me, I think my friends, Well they gathered here for me, I am within you" in 'Ghosteen Sings', it is as if he already is not amongst us any more.

Whatever the future holds, Ghosteen is an album to cherish. An album worth while to learn every note from, every word and chord. This monument may be one of the most important albums of this decade. Time will tell but I'm convinced for now it is.


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