Nocturama

  • Record Label: Epitaph
  • Release Date: Feb 11, 2003
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Everything is predictable and sounds like something Cave has done before. The Bad Seeds' edges are smoothed over by the too-slick production; Cave's lyrics are not provocative or funny or much of anything worth hearing.
  2. Nocturama isn't the weakest album in Nick Cave's canon, but it's far from being a particularly good one either.
  3. 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.
  4. Nocturama isn't an awful record, just a problematic one, mostly due to the fact that the spontaneous studio atmosphere under which he's trying to operate doesn't allow for the careful crafting that bore his prior masterpieces.
  5. Q Magazine
    60
    Trouble is, they're often only half-good songs. [Feb 2003, p.94]
  6. There is flatness where once there was majesty; there is garbage where once there was gold.
  7. The Wire
    40
    There's little to set the sombre half-tones of the Cave and Seed world alight with suspicous glimmers. [#228, p.59]
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Mar 24, 2014
    7
    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 BalladsDespite 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.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 27, 2010
    4
    A slipperly slope for a genius of huge proportions, Nocturama is Cave's musicial rock bottom. Setting off a wave of amateur songs and anA 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. Full Review »
  3. BrendanD
    Aug 2, 2007
    9
    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 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. Full Review »