Push the Sky Away - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. 100
    The peak of Cave's 15th album with the Bad Seeds is a multidimensional walkabout through sonic shadows and fog. [22 Feb 2013, p.74]
  2. 100
    These are big themes, dealt with imaginatively by a singer and a band both operating at the peak of their powers. Album of the year?
  3. 95
    Experimental yet built on superb songwriting, fresh and surprising but still somehow recognisably a Bad Seeds record, the amount of innovation and inspiration found on Push The Sky Away proves that Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds must still care an awful lot about this rock ‘n’ roll stuff.
  4. 90
    Not only have the Bad Seeds delivered another healthy baby, but perhaps the most gracefully beautiful of the whole brood. [Mar 2013, p.98]
  5. Feb 25, 2013
    90
    The lift-off and liberation come subtly, bearing the masterful marks of men who've learned the value of compositional patience (it's no coincidence that Cave and Ellis have also forged a successful partnership as film scorers). This, ultimately, makes the emotional devastation you experience once the record has spun all the more remarkable.
  6. 90
    The absurdity and terror that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have so often courted aren’t absent on Push The Sky Away. They’re just muted, and rendered all the more seductive via lush arrangements and Cave’s crooning baritone.
  7. 90
    A masterpiece that merges the experimentation and freedom of their side projects with Cave’s most tender songcraft.
  8. 90
    Richly arranged, masterfully sequenced, and full of brooding, Push the Sky Away combines the stately beauty of The Boatman’s Call and No More Shall We Part with the intensity of Grinderman/Lazarus-era Cave while managing to sound like neither.
  9. Feb 19, 2013
    90
    In Push the Sky Away, an album of thrilling darkness pierced by moments of brilliant light, Cave may have crafted his defining statement.
  10. Feb 14, 2013
    90
    Potent in its masculine restraint, this record has surely always existed, just waiting to be plucked from the surf; a mercurial, magisterial, stick of seaside rock.
  11. Feb 14, 2013
    90
    Even with all of this depth, Push The Sky Away finds Cave doing more with less lyrically.
  12. Feb 11, 2013
    90
    There's something deeply satisfying about the way the songs fit together as an album, their sequence strengthened both by the homogenous tone of the music with its air of wistful melancholy, and by the way each song seems to push the next one forward. [Mar 2013, p.61]
  13. Feb 11, 2013
    90
    An LP as weighty, compelling and brilliant as The Bad Seeds have ever produced.
  14. Feb 11, 2013
    90
    Cave is always the first to give fulsome credit to his band, and they aim true here in the most explorative, coherent and well-realised Bad Seeds album in years.
  15. Mar 14, 2013
    88
    While it’s likely that Push the Sky Away will not cause the seas to part before him, it will surely ephemerally deliver us from this evil wasteland of vacant contemporary culture and mutilated morality.
  16. Feb 19, 2013
    84
    The album surprises continually, offering humor, crises and redemption within the sound of something as lovely and enticing as it is aggressive and challenging.
  17. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    Across the album as a whole he works towards a sort of mid-world territory, between air and water, dream and reality.
  18. Feb 28, 2013
    80
    In spite of daft moments, the chilly shimmer of Push The Sky Away works its magic. [Feb 2013, p.45]
  19. Feb 27, 2013
    80
    We know better than to call Push The Sky Away Nick Cave’s best album, but if you want a portrait of the artist, as an artist, the album qualifies as “essential” even by the strictest definition.
  20. Feb 26, 2013
    80
    It might be their fifteenth album in a 30-year career, but Push The Sky Away proves beyond all doubt--even mine--that the group is still at the top of their game.
  21. Feb 19, 2013
    80
    Sometimes his baritone carries lyrics that are blunt and tart, and others opaque and blurry, but never lacking bite.
  22. Feb 19, 2013
    80
    Even in a career filled with expansive balladry, there are moments on Push the Sky Away as lovely as anything in his repertoire, from the music-box piano chimes of "We No Who U R" to the "Dress Rehearsal Rag"-strings on "We Real Cool" and the dulcet choruses of "Finishing Jubilee Street" and "Wide Lovely Eyes."
  23. PTSA may never stare you in the face, but you'd be a fool to turn your back on it. It's carrying a knife.
  24. Feb 19, 2013
    80
    This is a very good record indeed, just not the record the more hidebound Cave lifer would instantly press to their breast.
  25. Feb 15, 2013
    80
    Freighted deep with lugubrious rolls of oily bass, sandy inhalations of desert strings, holy intonations and salty lust, Push the Sky Away is the audio equivalent of bathing in the Dead Sea.
  26. Feb 15, 2013
    80
    While nearly unshakeable in its bleakness, Push the Sky Away is another exemplary effort from the Bad Seeds, and the moodiest entry into the Nick Cave canon in over a decade.
  27. Feb 15, 2013
    80
    For all the album's wandering spirit, the first eight tracks on Push the Sky Away are neatly structured into two complementary, four-song halves that mirror one another.
  28. Feb 14, 2013
    80
    Sky’s post-post-punk mellowing proves a welcome development, revealing maturity instead of postured snarling.
  29. Feb 14, 2013
    80
    There aren't the guitar storms of a Mercy Seat or Do You Love Me? but Jubilee Street--a beguiling tale of brothels and hypocrisy--could quietly become another Seeds classic.
  30. Feb 11, 2013
    80
    What you may lose in rock'n'roll kicks you gain in poignancy and poetry. [Mar 2013, p.86]
  31. Feb 11, 2013
    80
    Push The Sky Away demonstrates that even in his 30th year, nobody delivers a lyric quite like Nick Cave.
  32. Push the Sky Away has the ability to move without raising its voice above a whisper.
  33. Feb 19, 2013
    75
    Those with a patient appreciation for Cave's dramatic sense, and the ways in which his singular musical voice has evolved over years, will find much to focus on within.
  34. Feb 19, 2013
    75
    Lovely strings, flute and backing vocals occasionally shed some light, but mostly this is Cave playing it slow, hushed and haunted.
  35. Mar 15, 2013
    70
    Though at times exquisite, the slow-burn even instrumental keel is, ironically, the most jarring aspect of Push The Sky Away. [No. 96, p.52]
  36. Feb 27, 2013
    70
    It's a sweet musical reprieve from radio presenters with beaming suicide smiles gracing subway posters with snappy catchphrases.
  37. Feb 19, 2013
    70
    The sonic sea change is deliberate, but given what a vastly musical band the Bad Seeds have always been, this more economical approach is jarring and delightfully unsettling.
  38. Feb 19, 2013
    70
    It’s a pretty-sounding ugly LP, one that contains its fair share of ghosts, standing in for the sadness and brutality of our time, perhaps even the sadness and brutality of human existence.
  39. Feb 15, 2013
    70
    Push the Sky Away, then, is not the Bad Seeds at their zenith, but pretty bloody spectacular for a fifteenth (or seventeenth, or twentieth) album.
  40. Feb 15, 2013
    70
    Push the Sky Away’s rewards are interspersed among plenty of frustrating moments, yet even at its worst, it’s a fascinating album.
  41. Feb 13, 2013
    70
    There are some wonderful moments, the single ('We No Who U R') and the title track are starkly magnificent, but the general feel is a bit of a comedown.
  42. Mar 13, 2013
    67
    It all adds up to a challenging song cycle.
  43. Feb 19, 2013
    67
    Push They Sky Away’s oppressively hollow minimalism is both its biggest drawback and its greatest strength.
  44. Feb 20, 2013
    63
    Push the Sky Away feels heavy on breath-taking and woodshedding, an album of waiting for sparks to ignite.
  45. Feb 19, 2013
    60
    The first Seeds LP without co-founder Mick Harvey, Sky is full of tiny sounds--plinking guitars, pulsing bass, lazy subtle drums.
  46. Feb 11, 2013
    60
    Words are what sustain Push The Sky Away. [Mar 2013, p.97]
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Feb 25, 2013
    10
    Tension driven, Endlessly evocative, and ultimately transcendent. Cave has delivered what could very well be his crowning achievment. The seeds have done one their finest performances yet, delivering a taught yet lush bed of loops and strings for which Cave to weave his brillaintly fractured poetry. Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2013
    10
    Nick Cave has produced yet another masterpiece. Nick Launay's talents just seem to keep on stretching, the mix on the LP is both gallant and harrowing, lush and dismal. Cave's choruses are cathartic and massive, but the listener is trained to wait; one must follow him through a sparse atmosphere of seedy, jagged lyrics and instrumental minimalism to open a trove of spectacular melody and spirituality. Although we lost Mick Harvey, Warren Ellis' arrangements more than satiate in terms of terror and beauty. There's less humor here but the moments where choice snark rears its head can make for some explosive lyrical poignancy. And yes, we're only into the second month of 2013, but Push the Sky Away will be a very difficult record to top in terms of my favorite album of the year. Full Review »
  3. Feb 19, 2013
    7
    By album 15 Nick Cave has developed a kind of reputation of releasing an album of him blowing his nose into a tissue and would still achieve an 8 out of 10. He deserves it in a sense, however this latest offering is good not great. Its poles apart from Dig! Lazarus! Dig! the guitars have been put away (almost) it is a quiet, smooth and beautifully crafted album as usual, lyrically astounding. However, the album left me wanting more. Full Review »