Monday, December 20th, 2004
1. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus (Anti-)
Nick Cave's magnum opus, a thrilling pasticcio of magnanimous rock, pastoral folk, and wicked church music, covers more ground in two discs than most artists can in an entire career. God, cannibals, deception, nature, divine inspiration, slaughterhouses, Johnny Cash, mythology, comfort, love, greed, sorcery, and little redemptions in the face of massive tragedies represent just the half of it. Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus is a sprawling "Song of Myself" manifesto, bubbling with piety, fear, and hope. The Bad Seeds sound like they're capable of anything; they use Cave's poetics as kindling to set fire to any stereo willing to risk its mechanical life. This year's gospel.
4. Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill (Anti-)
From a Basement on the Hill presents a rawer Elliott Smith than we ...