Skeleton Tree Image
Metascore
95

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 344 Ratings

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  • Summary: Nick Cave's 15-year-old son died in an accident while he was working on the alternative rock band's 16th album. The recording sessions were filmed for Andrew Dominik's documentary, One More Time With Feel.
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  • Record Label: Bad Seeds Ltd.
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Post-Punk
  • More Details and Credits »

Top Track

I Need You
When you're feeling like a lover Nothing really matters anymore I saw you standing there in the supermarket With your red dressing falling And your... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 36
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 36
  3. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Sep 9, 2016
    100
    It’s a record of unusual rawness, honesty and intensity.
  2. 100
    From the first note to the last, you’re transported back to a time you lost someone close to you and then retrace the path you traveled as you dealt with it. I doubt this album inspires anyone to pick up a guitar or start a band and the experience it details is too personal to inspire other bands to make a similar album. But, if this isn’t a masterpiece... I don’t know what it is.
  3. Oct 24, 2016
    100
    Skeleton Tree is a testament to his art, his flaying honesty and his persistence in the wake of devastating loss.
  4. Sep 14, 2016
    90
    This great unknowing serves as the album’s guiding principle. In Cave’s wounded voice, you hear him grapple in real-time with the incidental prophecies of his lyrics and his need to get the job done.
  5. Sep 16, 2016
    88
    The album peaks in its second half, with a series of songs in which Cave doesn't just again walk the narrow line between love and death, but ponders whether "nothing really matters anymore."
  6. 80
    The trademark stridency of “Red Right Hand” or even “Mr Clarinet” is replaced with an altogether more measured and restrained vocal style, and the overall tone of Skeleton Tree is less abrasively didactic one than that of its fifteen predecessors.
  7. Sep 16, 2016
    70
    Whatever one makes of the songs presented here, at least we should all be able to agree that another addition to Cave’s legendary, beyond comparison catalogue is in itself enough of a reason to feel very satisfied.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Feb 6, 2018
    10
    This is a sensational album. When I first heard this album I did not know about the tragedy that had occurred during it's conception.
    This is
    This is a sensational album. When I first heard this album I did not know about the tragedy that had occurred during it's conception.
    This is an album so emotive and moving that you will feel it. I see people saying it's depressing and that cave doesn't sing and the music is boring .... I can only assume they have a tendency for shallow dance songs or aggressive hate songs ... or are generally afraid to show or engage in honest emotion.
    This album is so emotionally honest it almost hurts your heart. The thing is though it is gripping. The songs are not fast, but they are anything but boring.
    The first track "Jesus Alone" has a very intense feel and a plaintive lyric that is calling out to all irregardless of place in life.
    Rings of Saturn has a beautiful feel and melody with reaching poetic lyrics.
    Girl in amber is stunningly beautiful, the vocal delivery is slightly out of sync in parts but intentionally so and to great effect.
    Magneto is a very gentle track that speaks of the writers struggles with who he is and where he is at.
    Anthrocene is sensational and speaks in dynamic ways of the ever decaying world and the struggle to hold on to anything in it. There is a great use of dynamics in the music and although slow has a rhythmic counterpoint sliding in and out. I saw a live performance on youtube that was even more amazing than the studio version.
    I need you is a love song where perhaps the two in love are going through a crisis and the crisis is so deep they may fall apart due to it, but the deepest need to stay together is the overwhelming message.
    Distant sky is very ambient and starts the theme of redemption via reaching for the distant sky with your loved one. It has a lovely vocal from a lady I have not heard of before.
    Skeleton tree finishes the album with a nice gentle feel and more sounds and lyrics of comfort in the face of adversity.
    There are definitely melodies on this album. There are definitely songs. Any review that says there isn't is not worth reading. This is a very gentle, hurt album. It is not morose.
    If you are not afraid of emotion that is not happy, party, shallow ... this album is an essential listen.
    I disagree with the person who claimed this album will be forgotten in a few months. I think this album is sensational and deserves to win awards based on it's content, not it's circumstances.
    Expand
  2. Sep 9, 2016
    10
    Heartbreaking, emotional album. It's one of his most finest creations, if not his best one so far. "Skeleton Tree" is far more deep thanHeartbreaking, emotional album. It's one of his most finest creations, if not his best one so far. "Skeleton Tree" is far more deep than Boatman's Call or even No More Shall We Part. There is a lot of intimacy on this record.
    Album of the year for me.
    Expand
  3. Sep 20, 2016
    10
    Top 3 AOTY in no order: 1.Radiohead: A moon shaped pool 2. Frank Ocean: Blonde 3. Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree. For me this three albums areTop 3 AOTY in no order: 1.Radiohead: A moon shaped pool 2. Frank Ocean: Blonde 3. Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree. For me this three albums are masterpieces! Expand
  4. Sep 9, 2016
    10
    It's like a Franz Kafka novel with melody. Painfully beautiful. It's sad such a devastating event had to take place for this but it did giveIt's like a Franz Kafka novel with melody. Painfully beautiful. It's sad such a devastating event had to take place for this but it did give us a true masterpiece. Expand
  5. Sep 11, 2016
    10
    Great art, born of suffering. This will stand the test of time, as a great record, examining - in a raw, emotional, authentic style - theGreat art, born of suffering. This will stand the test of time, as a great record, examining - in a raw, emotional, authentic style - the place the artists were in when it was recorded. It's mainly about Cave, as the lyricist and singer dealing with grief, but don't underestimate the contributions of the sensitive musicians backing him, particularly the inventive and gifted Warren Ellis. Some of the album could be a film score, with poetry drifting across it. And whilst there are some musical echoes from Push The Sky Away, there is less narrative, and none of the ballad song structure that Cave has mastered over the previous year's of his Bad Seeds career. It has a perfect companion piece in the accompanying film, One More Time With Feeling, which will probably help make quicker sense of the album's Genesis and style. Talking to friends who have only heard the album, without seeing the film at all, it doesn't seem to matter. Both are destined to be classic works of art. Expand
  6. Sep 21, 2016
    8
    Good album! First time listening to this band, but I liked what I heard. This would have been a 9/10 if it didn't have so many songs/partsGood album! First time listening to this band, but I liked what I heard. This would have been a 9/10 if it didn't have so many songs/parts with talking. But really good either ways. Reminds me of both 'A Moon Shaped Pool' and 'Ray of Light'.

    BEST: Girl in Amber, I Need You, Distant Sky
    Expand
  7. Sep 25, 2016
    0
    Could not even get through the first track. I absolutely hated this garbage. Way too much whining in the tracks. Spend your money on an albumCould not even get through the first track. I absolutely hated this garbage. Way too much whining in the tracks. Spend your money on an album that doesnt suck so hard Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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