I don't like Nick Cave
Maybe you don't either, but I'm the one who's going to play and maybe talk about noir and crime songs at Noircon 2012, and Cave is the guy who recorded an album called Murder Ballads, his nod to murder ballads.
On first listen, I found the album noirish, all right, but too mannered, too studied, too aware of and pleased with itself. Indeed, one review had this to say (the courtesy title is a clue to the newspaper in which the review appeared:
"...Murder Ballads is about more than storytelling. In each song, Mr. Cave meticulously creates a macabre fable and then distills it to a single image of death in much the way a photographer arranges a studio shoot..."Fair enough, but I like my ballads to sound more like ballads and less like carefully posed daguerreotype death portraits. And it's not that I'm a musical stick in the mud, either. I've got a song by Jack White on my list, and Tom Waits' album Bad As Me is even more eclectic and musically daring than Cave's, and I like it just fine.
So talk me into liking Murder Ballads better. If I picked one Nick Cave song from the record for my Project Noir songs list, which should it be?
Here's one that has some good lines: "The Curse of Millhaven." Fans of noir and crime songs might notice its melodic similarity to the Pogues' "The Boys From the County Hell." And here's an "Irish Ballad" of quite another kind from Tom Lehrer.
© Peter Rozovsky 2012