Nick Cave - The Good Son [Remastered] CD Review (Mute) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Nick Cave - The Good Son [Remastered] CD Review (Mute)

Nick Cave - The Good Son [Remastered] CD ReviewNick Cave's sixth album, The Good Son (1990), completed his transition into the mainstream. Cave forgoes the dark intensity of Tender Prey on this disc and the (almost) Southern gospel songs on this disc are powered by Cave's vocals accompanied by keyboards and strings. As Cave had discovered a new-found sobriety and had also found love with Brazilian stylist Viviane Carneiro, most of the songs on The Good Son are mid-tempo, piano-driven explorations of love and sorrow.

To set the stage for these recordings, Nick remained in São Paulo after the Tender Prey tour while the rest of the band returned to Berlin.

“I started to write a lot and I didn’t really go back; I just stayed in Brazil. A lot of stuff started to come quite quickly: ‘The Weeping Song’, ‘The Ship Song’, ‘Foi Na Cruz’ - these extremely sweet love songs appeared.” As it turned out, the songs from that period prefigure and hint at something that would henceforward become a Cave obsession: to write a kind of “classic” love song, a craft he would devote many years to fine honing.

It was during this period also that Nick really began to come to grips with the piano as a compositional tool. Although he’d had two years of piano lessons in his pre-teens and knew how to make a chord, for all practical purposes, Cave could not perform at the keyboard as fluidly as his songs demanded. “In the early days,” he admits, “there was no way I could sit down and play and sing a song that sounded convincing. That’s not to say I couldn’t hear how it could it be in my head, but it would very much have to be interpreted by the band. Something like ‘The Carny’ for example: all the parts were written on the piano. I just couldn’t necessarily play the stuff.”

When originally released, the release of this disc was preceded by "The Ship Song / The Train Song" 7" which set the stage for the piano/strings balladry of the full disc. Keeping in that same vein, the disc opens with "Foi Na Cruz" which, according to Wikipedia, is based partly upon the traditional Brazilian Protestant hymn of the same title. Bookending the disc is the ballad "Lucy" which features Roland Wolf's last recorded work with the band.

There are a couple of up-tempo songs on the disc - "The Witness Song" has the hand-clapping groove of a Southern revival and "The Hammer Song" has some of the Tender Prey's dark intensity.

Like the Tender Prey, this release is a digi-pack with a bonus DVD. The tracks on the DVD are:

The Good Son album in 5:1

Extra tracks:
The Train Song
Cocks 'n' Asses
(Note: all three tracks are on Cave's B-Sides & Rarities)

Videos: – also available for download to MP3/Ipod

Music videos:
The Weeping Song
The Ship Song

"Do You Love Me Like I Love You": (Part 6: The Good Son)
Directed by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard

Nick Cave