Sometimes the most beautiful of art is created under the most tragic of circumstances. Such is the case with Nick Cave and his latest album with the Bad Seeds, Skeleton Tree. During the recording of the album Cave’s 15-year-old son, Arthur, fell from a cliff and later died of his injuries in July of last year. Instead of speaking to the press about the awful event, Cave chose to throw himself deeper into his work and let the music do the talking for him.
...off of Nick Cave's Skeleton Tree
Recalling the sparse and introspective mood of 1997’s The Boatman’s Call, Cave spins his traditional gothic love songs in Skeleton Tree, yet this time they sound more urgent, more poignant. You can hear the genuine sorrow in Cave’s voice when he sings about his “little blue eyed boy” in the tender “Girl in Amber.” Yet possibly the most emotional of the songs is the sparse and haunting “Jesus Alone,” which intermingles images from scripture and faith and recollections of his son. “With my voice I am calling you,” he sings. “Let us sit together until the moment comes.” Other standouts include the gothic melodrama “Anthrocene” and the mournful ballad “Rings of Saturn.”
Cave has bared his soul before in his music, but not quite like this. Skeleton Tree looks tragedy in the eye and tries to come to grips with it. The album is a reminder that Cave is one of his generation’s most talented and iconic musicians whose poetic lyricism is second to none. Yet Skeleton Tree also serves as a final ode, a last goodbye from a grieving father to his beloved son.
- Record: Skeleton Tree
- Artist: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- Label: Bad Seed Ltd
- Songs: (1) Jesus Alone (2) Rings of Saturn (3) Girl In Amber (4) Magneto (5) Anthrocene (6) I Need You (7) Distant Sky (8) Skeleton Tree