Since the dawn of time, vampiric goth icon Nick Cave has been wrapping his doomy baritone around songs about transcendent murder and fatal loves. But now there's a new wrinkle in his cape: laughs. Amid all the grotesque poetry and Armageddon guitars of this surprisingly lithe double album, Cave reveals a predilection for little-bunny imagery and a talent for turning lyrics such as "As you closed in, in slow motion/Quoting Sappho, in the original Greek" into punch lines. The Orpheus disc is quieter, and Blues is slightly more lewd, but taken together this may be the scariest album about panties, gorillas and bloody gods ever recorded. "Hiding All Away" is a Grand Guignol blues, with Cave contorting his voice as if he were about to cough up an alien race, while the Bad Seeds summon a torrent of noise both awful and exquisite. It's a gothic alt-squall that pokes fun at itself yet remains decidedly creepy. And that's no joke at all.
By PAT BLASHILL href="http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/_/id/6570064/nickcave?pageid=rs.Home&pageregion=triple1&rnd=1099508362891&has-player=true&version=188.8.131.522" target="_blank">rollingstone.com