(BMG Records, out on CD, DVD and vinyl on Fri 5 May 2017)
Cherry picking a selection of tracks from the back catalogue of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds must be a difficult task. A best of collection from a 30-year career will no doubt neglect some classics and cause die-hard fans to debate endlessly over the selection. The Standard Edition of Lovely Creatures attempts to present 21 tracks from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds from the years 1984 to 2014, with latest album Skeleton Tree being entirely overlooked. This is due to a delay in the release date of this best of assortment.
The album itself does not follow a chronological order from year to year. Instead the collection is structured to flow almost organically from track to track. The experience is an enjoyable one and expresses the timeless nature of The Bad Seeds and their music. Early songs Deanna and Tupelo express a rawness and wild temperament. These tracks sit neatly alongside later work such as Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! and Higgs Boson Blues. The passion is still there with the later tracks, but the sentiment feels somewhat more pensive and thoughtful. Higgs Boson Blues in particular is almost eight minutes in length and allows itself space to breathe, building to a pulsating climax. More well-known songs such as Straight To You, Red Right Hand and Where The Wild Roses Grow are tainted with mystery and storytelling excellence. Deep and dark lyricism is present throughout and the distinctive narrative nature of the songs offer something new and fresh with every listen.
Lovely Creatures highlights the songwriting talent of Nick Cave and his ability to connect with audiences through evocative lyrics, powerful narratives and through collaborating with a diverse range of musicians. The line-up of The Bad Seeds has changed over the years with players coming and going, but the music has continued to evolve and flourish. The album is very much an introduction to Nick Cave and his music and in no way a definitive collection. If you are unaware of The Bad Seeds then this is the perfect place to start… but you’ll then need to make room in your record collection for full-length albums, as the range and variety of music on offer highlights the strength of the back catalogue of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.
Lovely Creatures is available now as a Standard Edition on Double CD and Triple Vinyl. A Deluxe 3 CD and DVD Edition is also available which gives a more comprehensive look at the back catalogue of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, while a Limited Edition Super Deluxe Edition comes with three CDs, DVD and a hardback book.