Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Let Love In
On April 18, 1994, "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds" released their eighth studio album "Let Love In", without a doubt one of the perfect albums in Nick Cave's rich career.
It's an album from which songs have been covered by various talented artists over the musical spectrum, from "Metallica" and Iggy Pop, through "Arctic Monkeys" and PJ Harvey to Martin Gore from "Depeche Mode" and even Snoop Dogg. An album whose music adorned a variety of films and TV series such as "The X-Files", "Scream", "Dumb and Dumber" and "Peaky Blinders".
We must admit that when we purchased the disc we were puzzled by the choice Nick Cave made in naming the album. After albums with titles such as "The Firstborn Is Dead", "Kicking Against the Pricks" and "Your Funeral ... My Trial", we wondered if the choice of "Let Love In" is related to the romance and musical process that Cave went through during the creation of "The Good Son" and if we get from the punk and goth rooted Cave an album that will include a collection of optimistic love songs.
A quick scan of the song titles only added to the confusion. The album opens and closes with the two parts of the song "Do You Love Me?" and songs with titles like "Loverman", "I Let Love In" or "Nobody's Baby Now" scattered in the middle. But as those who have been well acquainted with Nick Cave's music over the years, we have realized that there is probably something much more creepy and vicious hiding beneath the beautiful title. And indeed it was.
We very well remember the moment when we pushed play and the disc started playing "Do You Love Me?", With Martyn P. Casey's heavy bass line accompanied by Thomas Wydler's whispering cymbals. The dark and macabre atmosphere enveloped the song and the second Thomas struck his snare drum and Nick Cave's gothic organ kicked in, we first tasted the amazing sound this album has to offer, which only got better in the face of Cave's clear piano playing and the sounds of Blixa Bargeld and Mick Harvey's dirty guitars sound. It was hard to ignore the amazing production of the album, which to this day sounds clean, clear, and up to date, just as it was three decades ago. The tension built up from the beginning of the song intensified as it was enveloped in the tormented and despairing voice of Cave singing to us, of course, about a lack of trust in a romantic relationship.
"Nobody's Baby Now" comes right after and takes us to a completely different place. The piano on which Conway Savage plays in perfect melody, leads this complex ballad to other districts. Real sorrow and pain permeate Cave's voice, with the piano and drums hovering gently around the lyrics. The melancholy cries out from every note in this song and the Hammond sounds only reinforce the conclusion implied by Cave's clever words. The object of his love will be "nobody's baby" because he killed her ... Nick Cave originally wrote this song for Johnny Cash, but finally decided he wanted to record the song himself.
After the melancholy ballad that eventually turned out to be Requiem, comes the powerful “Loverman”. A song that alternates between recited speech sentences and blown-up and violent screams. A song whose title does not reveal its content. It tells of a morbid relationship, in which the protagonist, among other things, details what he stands for for the object of his love, with each letter in the word L-O-V-E-R-M-A-N describing the protagonist's evil desires, including "Rape" and "Murder." The whispers during the verses only add to the creepy and scary atmosphere that culminates in the ringing of the bells that end the song. This song won interesting cover versions, including "Metallica" on the album "Garage Inc." and Martin Gore's on the album "Counterfeit".
"Jangling Jack" continues with the wild line of the chorus from the previous song and introduces us to the familiar Nick Cave from his post-punk era, with fast and loud music, and almost cacophony that intensifies with Cave's angry singing and screaming.
"Red Right Hand" is without a doubt one of the most special and interesting songs in Nick Cave's career. A mysterious and sweeping piece, whose first note is an ominous bell sound. This song can easily be used as part of a horror movie soundtrack. Strange and dark magic with jazz touches, which takes care of putting you "on the edge" throughout. The sounds of the oscillator, the shaker, and the dramatic organ serve as the perfect playback for Cave's ominous voice, with alternating bells or drums sounding like thunder vibrating our souls. It is no wonder that this song has been used for 9 years as the theme tune of the excellent series "Peaky Blinders" and has been part of the soundtrack of other series and movies like "The X-Files". The name of the song comes from a line from John Milton's poem "Paradise Lost" and started from a jam session in the studio, after Nick Cave asked Mick Harvey to play something on a slightly different scale.
"I Let Love In" opens the second half of the album dramatically to the sounds of the melancholy but catchy guitar line and the monotonous piano touches that accompany us throughout the song, non-stop. This is another typical Cave song about lost love, immersed in a Country and Blues style. It's without a doubt one of the band's most powerful songs and it's really surprising that Nick Cave initially did not want it on the album. Guitarist Mick Harvey said that Nick wrote it in five minutes, but he did not feel anything for it, as if it did not matter to him because he did not have a hard time writing it. Cave's bandmates simply insisted that the song will be included on the album.
"Thirsty Dog" takes us back to the fast post-punk rhythm reminiscent of the beginning of Cave's career, but it is soon replaced by the slow sadness of "Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore". A song that marks Cave's first collaboration with Warren Ellis, who was a fan of the band for years and adorns The song in his violin playing.
The melancholy line accompanies us until the end of the album with "Lay Me Low", with the sound of Hammond and the weeping and whining voice of Cave, and "Do You Love Me? (Part 2)" which is the absolute negative of his twin brother who opens the album. A slow, atmospheric and abstract section that, together with the opening track, envelops the album and gives it a sense of a complete and perfect musical work.
"Let Love In" was undoubtedly a turning point for "Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds". It was able to make their music more accessible, while maintaining the DNA and basic style of the band. With this album, Nick Cave completed what he had started two albums earlier with "The Good Son" and established his affair with the mainstream. Today, after 40 years of activity and about twenty studio albums, it can be said with certainty that "Let Love In" was and remains one of the pick points in Nick Cave's marvelous career.