Lam’s Top 5 Nick Cave Songs (at the moment)

Magneto

The moment I heard it, I knew this song would sit atop my list of favorites. There is no discernable rhythm despite the fact that the song definitely has a pulse. One gets the sense that panic is on the horizon almost as though this song was taking place mid catharsis. The line “one more time with feeling” resonates particular strong with me at the moment as I feel my creative self slipping away. This song aches of weariness and hopelessness with moments of practiced optimism and self-realization punctuating the push toward progress while being anchored by the pull of monotony.

(Are You) the One I’ve Been Waiting For?

Love is visceral in it’s physical manifestation and I don’t think a song has captured that quite like this one. Both the good and the bad in love are the most extreme of emotional pulls and often, when two people love each other deeply, the ability to break and the will to rebuild is almost overwhelming. This song speaks to the anticipation of a love reminded of its power to create.

Loverman

What an ominous song this is. Nick Cave’s constant droning of “how much longer” filling the space between the lines in verse build a feeling of impending doom. The overdriven, booming chorus is powerful and punchy to the point of being jarring. This song, more than most others by Nick Cave, has a distinct dynamic movement that makes it unique. Despite veering to others from time to time, this song in particular always creeps back to number one. If you put me on the spot, this one often takes the mantle as my favorite Nick Cave song of all time.

The Road

I love this whole soundtrack. There isn’t a track on it that doesn’t feel sincere and poignant. Given that this is also one of my favorite books, this entire soundtrack and, indeed the movie itself, holds a special place in my heart. Among the Warren Ellis/Nick Cave collaborations, this score is graceful, sparse and haunting. As an experiment, I went back and read some of “The Road” with this soundtrack playing in the background and, let me tell you: that is a moving experience. The soundtrack sounds and feels as desolate as the book does. Amazing. Just amazing.

Where the Wild Roses Grow

Kylie Minogue’s sweet voice gives this song a mystical quality. As is custom with Nick Cave ballads, there’s a sense of dread throughout the song and, sure enough, it ends in a beautiful crescendo of grace and violence. Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue seem like a very strange duet but it’s easy to see why the contrasting styles, manner, appearances and voices create such a wonderful juxtaposition. They could not be more different and that’s what makes this song fantastic.

If you want a real treat, check out this live performance. It helps to underscore why they’re such a perfectly imperfect combination.

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