Music review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, 'Push The Sky Away'

Rating: 3 stars

“Push The Sky Away” takes a sharp detour into much darker territory than Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ last studio album, 2008’s “Dig Lazarus, Dig!!!” That album also was the last to feature multi-instrumentalist and founding member Mick Harvey, who left the band in 2009. For this album, Cave goes all Leonard Cohen on us as he slowly delivers each lyric. And the music creeps right along with his every step. On “Higgs Boson Blues,” Cave sounds as though he’s struggling to let each word cross his lips. “Rainy days always make me sad/Miley Cyrus floats in a swimming pool/Toluca Lake, and you’re the best girl I ever had.” If you can get past the fact he actually name-checked Miley Cyrus, the plodding of the song makes the sadness in Cave’s lyrics all that more believable. Most of the songs on “Push The Sky Away” can be found shrouded in that same darkness, though you have to expect some of that on a Nick Cave album. But things just seem a little more bleak this time out. Even the album’s most upbeat song, “Water’s Edge,” still creeps along. During all of this, though, you never feel like you’re drowning in sorrow. Instead, we’re left to approvingly nod our heads at Cave as he reminds us life isn’t all sunshine and pop songs.

• Rob Carroll writes about music for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached at You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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