Nick Cave isn’t a man known for his upbeat persona, and the new Bad Seeds album takes his introspective sombre symbolism to another level.
Skeleton Tree isn’t a melancholy album, or a depressing album. This is an album made from the sounds of a man’s heart breaking. It’s almost too personal to review, like violating a trust by even trying to dissect it. Even thinking of it as an album seems dismissive of the emotion behind its creation. The songs are more like dirges; Cave doesn’t sing all the lines, preferring to speak them in his gravel-tone instead, and when he does sing it hurts the heart. Backed by a lonely piano, with synths and noises that sound like emptiness, this collection of eight tracks is the diary of Cave trying to accept loss, and instead being overwhelmed by hopelessness. It’s not easy listening, especially knowing the grief that permeates each song, and certainly won’t be for everyone. What it is, however, is beautifully bleak and heartbreakingly sincere.