User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 50
  2. Negative: 1 out of 50

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  1. RickP
    Feb 26, 2005
    9
    Nick Cave's new album is beautiful, powerful, emotional, and very satisfying. The best recording I have heard in years. It's an album that will be in my most regular listening rotation for years.
  2. 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 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 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..! Expand
  3. ScottW
    Nov 9, 2004
    9
    The album is a wonderfully diverse affair of the light, the dark, and the many shades inbetween. An unadulterated masterpiece. Not many in popular music today can boast of a career so vital and relevant. An Unlike a U2 who primarily concern themselves with more immediate grande gestures and themes. Cave concentrates soley on the state of the spiritual. Theres simply nobody out there The album is a wonderfully diverse affair of the light, the dark, and the many shades inbetween. An unadulterated masterpiece. Not many in popular music today can boast of a career so vital and relevant. An Unlike a U2 who primarily concern themselves with more immediate grande gestures and themes. Cave concentrates soley on the state of the spiritual. Theres simply nobody out there working today quite like him and with a brilliant testament like Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus likely there never will be. Collapse
  4. evilb.
    Jan 8, 2005
    9
    at last, cave proves that he doesn't need drugs or a broken heart to write sublime songs. and live does he sound better than ever before. marvellous.
  5. EvanW
    Oct 22, 2006
    1
    I've been a fan of Nick Cave for about eight years. I always loved his dark lyrics and instrumentation. After 2002, he seems to have completely lost all his old inspiration, and continues making albums only because he's a musician, not because he has something to say. This record did not need to be made. Insipid lyrics, over-produced pap.
  6. Hein
    Apr 30, 2006
    10
    There are no better records than this one. Simple as that.
  7. AnthonyD
    Jun 8, 2006
    10
    Two stunningly beautiful and immediate albums. An emotional injection. If it weren't for Nick, Tom Waits and Frank Black I would move to Patagonia.
  8. AdamC
    Nov 17, 2004
    10
    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are mixing mirth and cataclysm to a delightful effect here. Right up there with "And No More Shall We Part" which happened to be a masterpiece.
  9. JesseS
    Nov 2, 2004
    6
    I don't understand why this is getting rave reviews. I wish I did. I find it merely good, enjoyable. But not great. Based on the above rave reviews, I ran out and bought it, quite excited. I hope my opinion doesn't change....maybe I haven't been spiritually awakened to the music. But in general, I don't understand music critics' opinions. I never will. I guess I I don't understand why this is getting rave reviews. I wish I did. I find it merely good, enjoyable. But not great. Based on the above rave reviews, I ran out and bought it, quite excited. I hope my opinion doesn't change....maybe I haven't been spiritually awakened to the music. But in general, I don't understand music critics' opinions. I never will. I guess I have bad taste. Expand
  10. NixO.
    Jan 11, 2005
    10
    This (these) album(s) will certainly live longer than 99% of the music being made, or rather manufactured today. Nick Cave has avoided over-exposure and this will only add to his longetivity if and when the general public turns its back on the fluff of MTV et al. and regains an interest in good music. 'Abattoir Blues' is a full blow to the senses, sonically and lyrically. Listen This (these) album(s) will certainly live longer than 99% of the music being made, or rather manufactured today. Nick Cave has avoided over-exposure and this will only add to his longetivity if and when the general public turns its back on the fluff of MTV et al. and regains an interest in good music. 'Abattoir Blues' is a full blow to the senses, sonically and lyrically. Listen to this after a bad day at work; the music elevates and commiserates. No point in singling out one or two songs as all are brilliant. 'Lyre of Orpheus' is good for those rare moments of quiet, reflective cynacism; shows a rare upbeat side of Nick Cave that isn't forced, nor superficial: it is the capturing of a real man expressing real emotion in a world that doesn't quite know what to do with either. Buy it now, and thank Mr. Cave, not me. Expand
  11. ClaudeA
    Feb 28, 2005
    9
    Typical lyrics and topics from Nick, a shade on the dark side! Most enjoyable if you are not a manic depressive.
  12. SimonM
    Jan 12, 2006
    9
    Awesome!
  13. jules
    Nov 10, 2004
    9
    What a stunning session at the church of St Nick! He really does the whole marriage of heaven and hell better than anyone else - and even manages a dry sense of humour at the same time! If the intense and uneasy mix of the sacred and profane doesn't do it for you, look elsewhere - if it does - well get down on your knees and pray!
  14. davel
    Oct 25, 2004
    10
    Fantastic!!!
  15. AdrianC
    Oct 28, 2004
    10
    One of the best double CD's ever--ranks up there with the White Electrifyingly beautiful. Cave at his Best.
  16. markf
    Oct 29, 2004
    9
    I read the lyric sheet to this before I heard any songs. I immediately rated the lyrics a 9. I listened to the music and had to digest things a bit before I decided that the music/vocals matched the lyrics, but I do believe that now. "Abattoir Blues" is ostensibly the darker, rock-out gospel-blues side of the double album, even though "Messiah Ward" would have fit comfortably on "The Lyre I read the lyric sheet to this before I heard any songs. I immediately rated the lyrics a 9. I listened to the music and had to digest things a bit before I decided that the music/vocals matched the lyrics, but I do believe that now. "Abattoir Blues" is ostensibly the darker, rock-out gospel-blues side of the double album, even though "Messiah Ward" would have fit comfortably on "The Lyre of Orpheus." That album is more of a lighter, poppish ballads collection, which still takes humankind to the mat but finds more reasons to forgive us and love our failures. I actually don't find the albums as different as several reviewers do. Sure, they have different drummers, but it's not really that overpoweringly-different musically. The gospel choir/ themes connect the albums more than the two drummers differentiate them. I think it would have been fine as a single-titled double album. I guess if you don't know squat about Cave & the Bad Seeds, I'd start with the single "Nature Boy" (on "Abattoir"), which is really a great pop-rock single with Dylanesque lyrics, and that song should pretty much get you hooked, especially since I (and maybe you) got this double album at Tower for ONLY $13!!! Expand
  17. CraigM
    Dec 13, 2005
    10
    Tender Prey was my favourite album. Now it is Abbatoir Blues. A delight and a relief after the dubious effort of Nocturama.
  18. EricM
    Jan 28, 2005
    10
    Simple awesome songwriting here. I can't get enough of listening to both of these.
  19. D.Dagger
    Aug 22, 2005
    10
    His best work in a very very long time. A classic.
  20. julesm
    Feb 16, 2006
    10
    supernaturally awesome
  21. Ezra
    Jun 25, 2006
    9
    In my opinion, and several come close, this as a double album, is his best work since The Good Son (probably one of the greatest albums in rock). It's on the level, I'd say, with his stuff with The Birthday Party, and, by extension, worth even the listening of non-fans. Warren Ellis adequately fills the place of Blixa Bargeld (I feel the loss too). His integration of gospel is In my opinion, and several come close, this as a double album, is his best work since The Good Son (probably one of the greatest albums in rock). It's on the level, I'd say, with his stuff with The Birthday Party, and, by extension, worth even the listening of non-fans. Warren Ellis adequately fills the place of Blixa Bargeld (I feel the loss too). His integration of gospel is pure awesome. Don't wait, buy it! 'There She Goes, My Beautiful World' is one of the best songs of ' the '00s. Expand
  22. 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 no less zealous than his former work, Cave delivers something uniquely beautiful that only he can deliver in its purest form.
  23. 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 at times, although the aggressive goth songs and Cave's amazing songwriting kept me hanging on.
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Aside from the power of the music and lyrics, the set draws on Cave’s compelling persona: part priest, part sideshow barker--crooning one moment and eviscerating the next. While this has always been the core of his talent, on Abattoir/Lyre it is particularly rich and rewarding.
  2. 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]
  3. 80
    The kind of boiling, roiling blues the Bad Seeds haven't cooked up in years. [Nov 2004, p.131]