Push the Sky Away

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Cave’s solo work has seldom rocked, almost as a response to his previous band, The Birthday Party. Coming off mostly like an angrier Leonard Cohen, Cave has kept a quiet, if seething, croon to his music. His 15th Bad Seeds album, the brilliant Push the Sky Away, is no different, maintaining the usually muted aggression of his previous work. Still, where previous efforts have reflected a subtlety, it is nothing in comparison to this, which seems to demarcate a new line in his career — an even more sublime effort — that seems to ramp down from his most recent rock act, Grinderman. Here we see a downward slope for Cave in terms of ferocity, from loud and violent to comparatively less so, to the middle-aged return to roots, with his most restrained album since 1997’s The Boatman’s Call.