Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. An entirely unique return to form.
  2. 100
    He gets all beautiful on your ass for the Orpheus portion of this double-disc set, then explodes with a pounding intensity on Abattoir Blues that'll knock your socks off.
  3. As a word of warning, though, this brilliant, but lengthy double album may not be the best beginner's guide to Nick Cave. However, for anyone who is a fan of the duration of his career, this album rewards the listener with a bit of the best of everything he has to offer.
  4. 100
    The scope and breadth is startling. [Oct 2004, p.94]
  5. Two masterpieces. [Dec 2004, p.158]
  6. Cave... remains a singular sensation. [29 Oct 2004, p.69]
  7. 'Abattoir Blues' is weirdly full of wonderment, and - get this - 'The Lyre of Orpheus' is even more joyful! And they both kick Nocturama's arse full of buttonholes.
  8. The Bad Seeds have not made a record this ambitious, well, ever, and the results are rewarding, thoughtful and challenging.
  9. While the first offering holds a quite tangible anger and general gloom within, 'The Lyre of Orpheus is a much more mellow affair, contemplating existentialism and the like.
  10. A fragrant bouquet of melody, light, love and naughtiness wrapped in an unfamiliar joie de vivre.
  11. So fresh, so revelatory, so alive.
  12. It’s easy to get over-eager about a decent album that appears after some significantly less magnificent efforts, and perhaps that’s precisely what I’ve just done. But I don’t especially care. What I hear throughout this release, and what I’m latching so strongly onto, is my own imagined version of what a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds record should be like.
  13. This is murderously good stuff. [25 Sep 2004, p.64]
  14. An aesthetic watermark for Cave, a true high point in a long career that is ever looking forward.
  15. 82
    This is not Cave's best work by any means, but these songs do showcase his impressive range as a lyricist, performer and musician. [#12, p.100]
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Jul 11, 2013
    8
    Overall an amazing album, although it does veer into dangerously adult-contemporary territory on the second disc. I did find myself bored atOverall an amazing album, although it does veer into dangerously adult-contemporary territory on the second disc. I did find myself bored at times, although the aggressive goth songs and Cave's amazing songwriting kept me hanging on. Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    Following a two-album string of letdown records, Cave waters his Bad Seeds and here they are in full bloom. Impressive, back-to-basics and noFollowing a two-album string of letdown records, Cave waters his Bad Seeds and here they are in full bloom. Impressive, back-to-basics and no less zealous than his former work, Cave delivers something uniquely beautiful that only he can deliver in its purest form. Full Review »
  3. madsl
    Mar 10, 2007
    7
    abbatoir blues is a partial return to form for cave after a series of dreadfully bland albums. It's just a shame that the antiseptic abbatoir blues is a partial return to form for cave after a series of dreadfully bland albums. It's just a shame that the antiseptic production threatens to kill the otherwise inspirational songwriting. The Lyre of Orpheus is cave doing what he has done lately - therefore I don't like it, but it is a notch better than nocturama/no more shall we part - both albums which I strongly recommend music lovers should shy away from..! Full Review »