Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry

Nick Cave goes on a dark picaresque of some infernal other-dimension, not entirely unlike modern day America, but also not unlike mythical ancient Greece, or Europe in the Dark Ages. In Cave’s world every age is a dark age. Over the years, his delivery has gotten more literary and refined, but the vision hasn’t lightened up much. He still wants to explore the intersection between human ugliness and the human capacity for higher things. And he’s excavated that intersection in unprecedented depth recently. (More on that at a later date.) 1992 found him in mid-transformation from apparent death-wish-having rat punk to gentleman scholar. Cave is one of the few rock artists whose youthful kicking against the pricks fades in comparison to his more mature work. Henry’s Dream is a transitional album, from the period when the artist began to realize that being angry and loud was, in fact, less interesting than being a man of wealth and taste.

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