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September 11, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Let Love in

Why is it, right, that even the most stridently independent, dare I say it “alternative” people, when faced with the prospect of a wedding, throw all their natural inclinations and preferences out the window and descend into white tulle and floral motif-induced madness? And why do these people abandon any originality, musical or otherwise, for the blandest of suburban fantasies? What, even though you both really only like punk, you don’t really love her unless your first dance together is to ‘Every Breath You Take’? It’s about a stalker, you prat. When I get married, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds are going to play. The likelihood of this happening is, you understand, directly proportional to the likelihood that I will get married. Which is to say, infinitesimal.

There will be no DJ, Shane MacGowan is going to be bartender, and mainly, they are going to play the songs from 1994’s Let Love In. Tagged as the group’s first “accessible” album (whatever the hell that means) it’s simply a celebration of love, love that is obsessive, threatening, addictive, and by no means pretty. Not their best album, maybe? Certainly, but the most clear-sighted, a collection of songs with one objective: love, at all costs. Blixa Bargeld’s guitar echoes like the album was recorded in a cathedral; dark, dark organs hover over everything and “the bells in the chapel went jingle, jangle.” Love is something Nick Cave has returned to time and again since, but never as it appears here: stripped back to its bare essentials, freed from the caveats of time, loss, disinterest and death, reduced to his baritone howl, “d’ya love me?” It’s not going to be perfect, but the thing is you’re in love, and love will out itself no matter what gothic drama you or Nick can throw at it. Let Love In isn’t really about the lovers; it’s about love. The lovers don’t always endure, but love does. Rather like a wedding.


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