Push the Sky Away

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MUSIC - Jar­rad Be­van

FANS could be for­given for think­ing Nick Cave only writes two kinds of songs. Love songs or death songs; swampy rock songs or gothic bal­lads. Push the Sky Away is a thor­oughly mod­ern beast. While it ven­tures down some well- worn paths – grubby im­agery of devils, re­li­gion, sex and sin – it also con­tains mod­ern- day ref­er­ences such as Wikipedia, Higgs Bo­son and ( gasp!) Han­nah Mon­tana. This is not an al­bum Cave could or would have writ­ten 20 years ago and yet the band’s 15th out­ing is a strong, cen­tred, con­fi­dent of­fer­ing – and any time a mu­si­cian puts their naked wife on an al­bum cover, it’s a dec­la­ra­tion of in­ti­macy. Tense, ghoul­ish, bluesy and mys­te­ri­ous, Cave is the kind of tal­ent who can turn a song in­spired by God’s par­ti­cle into a tale about spir­i­tual col­lapse. He is mes­meris­ing. This is no hardrock­ing Grin­der­man record. While the de­par­ture of found­ing mem­ber and gui­tarist Mick Har­vey is cer­tainly felt in ev­ery note, Push the Sky Away is on a par with the act’s bet­ter quiet al­bums such as The Boat­man’s Call.

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