Nocturama - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Summary: Nick Cave & co. return for a follow up to 2001's 'No More Shall We Part.'
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. This journey to Nocturama's not to be missed. [March 2003, p.88]
  2. Often funeral-march slow, but there are also flashes of passionate energy.
  3. 80
    Piano ballads and muscular thrash that hearken back to his days with proto-goth ghoulfathers the Birthday Party. [#13, p.91]
  4. Mostly in the quieter mode of his past few efforts, Nocturama presents songs of faith and devotion in the face of doubt, again demonstrating his newfound gift for understatement and the smoky croon.
  5. 70
    This is his conscious attempt to inject a sense of urgency probably not heard on a Bad Seeds album since 1994's Let Love In. [Mar 2003, p.96]
  6. Nick Cave, no mistake about it, is still a major talent, and Nocturama isn't nearly as bad a mid-career flop as Lou Reed's Mistrial or David Bowie's Never Let Me Down.... But nevertheless, this is also far from essential Nick Cave, as most longtime fans will immediately discern.
  7. There's little to set the sombre half-tones of the Cave and Seed world alight with suspicous glimmers. [#228, p.59]

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. BrendanD
    Aug 2, 2007
    It's taken me a long time to come to this conclusion, but Nick Cave is the greatest artist of all time. He did anger exactly right with The Birthday Party, a band that basically took "Lady Godiva's Operation" and turned it into a fucked-up party. When the Birthday Party exploded/imploded/blew up, the Bad Seeds picked up the slack, and they've been releasing classic album after classic album since 1984. Maybe the classic records have just made me a fanboy, but I honestly believe that Cave has done better since the mid-'90s than he did ever before. "Murder Ballads" is one of the best albums of all time, and "No More Shall We Part" is, far from the cringe-worthy schlock most old-school Birthday Party and early Bad Seeds fans want to call it, a beautiful, heartfelt, and darkly sinister record. "Nocturama" is not as good as either of these. It is, however, pretty damned good. "Babe I'm On Fire" isn't lame or cringe-worthy, and it's not fun. It's Cave's weird sense of humor that shine through, however, and you can never be 100% sure if he's sincere or not. I prefer to believe not, but it's hard and beautiful and dark all the same. Expand
  2. Mar 24, 2014
    Despite the massive fan dismissal of this album, it had to happen. It showed the end of another chapter for Nick Cave, just as Murder Ballads was the turning point for Nick Cave to go from full band arrangements with punk-ish attitude, to more solo work on a Nick Caves part. Nocturama is the end of the love ballad piano thing era, and is a move back to band arrangements. Sadly, this is Blixas last album, but as with the album itself, it is necessary (Blixa shines on "Babe I'm On Fire" and "Dead Man in my Bed"). Blixas departure allowed for Warren to come forward and to start working closer with Nick. The album is not a bad album, and even if it may be Nick's low career point, I would say it is one of the most essential to own.
    Song Highlights:
    "Wonderful Life" for it's amazing mood and instrumentation
    "Bring it On" for sounding nothing like a Nick Cave song
    "Dead Man in my Bed" brings a burst of energy that is needed to get through to the end of the album
    "Babe I'm on Fire" is a insane lyrical mess, that is perfect for filling you with adrenaline.
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    A slipperly slope for a genius of huge proportions, Nocturama is Cave's musicial rock bottom. Setting off a wave of amateur songs and an earthquake of lost potential, it builds up to nothing more than a half-decent lead single that makes those seeds look horrible. Expand
  4. madsl
    Mar 10, 2007
    surely the worst cave album ever! even the rather dreadful "no more shall we part" somehow shines in comparison to this half-baked and bland album. The ridiculous finale of "Babe I'm om fire" is not the fun it was probably intended to be, it is just lame and cringeworthy. Expand