Tender Prey

Performers Nick Cave/Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Mute | May 11, 2010 | Compact Disc

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With guitarist/keyboardist Roland Wolf and Cramps/Gun Club veteran Kid Congo Powers on guitar added to the ranks, along with guest appearances from old member Hugo Race, the Seeds reached 1988 with their strongest album yet, the insanely powerful, gripping Tender Prey. Rather than simply redoing what they'd already done, Nick Cave and company took their striking musical fusions to deeper and higher levels all around, with fantastic consequences. The album boldly starts out with an undisputed Cave masterpiece -- "The Mercy Seat," a chilling self-portrait of a prisoner about to be executed that compares the electric chair with the throne of God. Queasy strings from a Gini Ball-led trio and Mick Harvey's spectral piano snake through a rising roar of electric sound -- a common musical approach from many earlier Seeds songs, but never so gut-wrenching as here. Cave's own performance is the perfect icing on the cake, commanding and powerful, excellently capturing the blend of crazed fear and righteousness in the lyrics. Matching that high point turns out to be impossible for anything else on Tender Prey, but more than enough highlights take a bow, demonstrating the album's general quality. "Deanna" is another great blast from the Seeds, a garage rock-style rave-up that lyrically is everything Natural Born Killers tried to be, but failed at -- killing sprees, Cadillacs, and carrying out the work of the Lord, however atypically. The echoing, gentle-yet-rough sonics on the Blind Willie Johnson-inspired "City of Refuge" and the gentler drama of "Sugar Sugar Sugar" also do well in keeping the energy level up. On the quieter side, Cave indulges his penchant for gloomy piano-led ballads throughout, and quite well at that, with such songs as "Watching Alice," "Mercy," and the end-of-the-evening singalong "New Morning." "Sunday's Slave" has a beautifully brooding feeling to it thanks to the combination of acoustic guitar and piano, making it a bit of a cousin of Scott Walker's "Seventh Seal." [A version with a bonus DVD was released in 2010.] ~ Ned Raggett

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: May 11, 2010

Genre: Alternative

Style: Pop/Rock

Number of Discs: 2

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Mute

UPC: 724596944028

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– More About This Product –

Tender Prey

Performers Nick Cave/Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: May 11, 2010

Genre: Alternative

Style: Pop/Rock

Number of Discs: 2

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Label Name: Mute

UPC: 724596944028


Title Track Time
0.DISC 1: --
1.Mercy Seat, The --
2.Up Jumped the Devil --
3.Deanna --
4.Watching Alice --
5.Mercy --
6.City of Refuge --
7.Slowly Goes the Night --
8.Sunday's Slave --
9.Sugar Sugar Sugar --
10.New Morning --
0.DISC 2: --
1.Mercy Seat [5.1 Surround Sound], The --
2.Up Jumped the Devil [5.1 Surround Sound] --
3.Deanna [5.1 Surround Sound] --
4.Watching Alice [5.1 Surround Sound] --
5.Mercy [5.1 Surround Sound] --
6.City of Refuge [5.1 Surround Sound] --
7.Slowly Goes the Night [5.1 Surround Sound] --
8.Sunday's Slave [5.1 Surround Sound] --
9.Sugar Sugar Sugar [5.1 Surround Sound] --
10.New Morning [5.1 Surround Sound] --
11.Mercy Seat [Video Version], The --
12.Girl at the Bottom of My Glass --
13.Mercy Seat [Acoustic Version], The --
14.City of Refuge [Acoustic Version] --
15.Deanna [Acoustic Version] --
16.Do You Love Me Like I Love You (Part 5: Tender Prey) --
17.Mercy Seat, The --
18.Deanna --

Editorial Notes

With guitarist/keyboardist Roland Wolf and Cramps/Gun Club veteran Kid Congo Powers on guitar added to the ranks, along with guest appearances from old member Hugo Race, the Seeds reached 1988 with their strongest album yet, the insanely powerful, gripping Tender Prey. Rather than simply redoing what they'd already done, Nick Cave and company took their striking musical fusions to deeper and higher levels all around, with fantastic consequences. The album boldly starts out with an undisputed Cave masterpiece -- "The Mercy Seat," a chilling self-portrait of a prisoner about to be executed that compares the electric chair with the throne of God. Queasy strings from a Gini Ball-led trio and Mick Harvey's spectral piano snake through a rising roar of electric sound -- a common musical approach from many earlier Seeds songs, but never so gut-wrenching as here. Cave's own performance is the perfect icing on the cake, commanding and powerful, excellently capturing the blend of crazed fear and righteousness in the lyrics. Matching that high point turns out to be impossible for anything else on Tender Prey, but more than enough highlights take a bow, demonstrating the album's general quality. "Deanna" is another great blast from the Seeds, a garage rock-style rave-up that lyrically is everything Natural Born Killers tried to be, but failed at -- killing sprees, Cadillacs, and carrying out the work of the Lord, however atypically. The echoing, gentle-yet-rough sonics on the Blind Willie Johnson-inspired "City of Refuge" and the gentler drama of "Sugar Sugar Sugar" also do well in keeping the energy level up. On the quieter side, Cave indulges his penchant for gloomy piano-led ballads throughout, and quite well at that, with such songs as "Watching Alice," "Mercy," and the end-of-the-evening singalong "New Morning." "Sunday's Slave" has a beautifully brooding feeling to it thanks to the combination of acoustic guitar and piano, making it a bit of a cousin of Scott Walker's "Seventh Seal." [A version with a bonus DVD was released in 2010.] ~ Ned Raggett
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