Mute - 2004 - 82 minutes

Cave's last record, 2002's 'Nocturama', was split between rockers and weepers, and left some wishing there was more of either one or the other. Well, everyone will be happy with 'Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus', a double album with something for any mood that's having its way with you.

Over 17 tracks you get Cave rowdy ('Get Ready for Love'), funny ("Karl Marx squeezed his carbuncles while writing Das Kapital and Gaugin, he buggered off, man, and went all Tropical," he sings on 'There She Goes, My Beautiful`World'), infatuated ('Babe, You Turn Me On') and poignant ('Easy Money'). Now without Blixa Bargeld, the Bad Seeds play like a band reborn and there are some beautiful vocal tradeoffs between their leader and members of the London Community Gospel Choir.

Should Cave ever decide to release a second Greatest Hits album, 'Abattoir Blues', 'Easy Money', 'Carry Me; and 'O Children' are shoo-ins. A handful of others here mightn't be far behind.

Harry Guerin

Abattoir Blues tracklisting: Get Ready For Love - Cannibal's Hymn - Hiding All Away - Messiah Ward - There She Goes, My Beautiful World - Nature Boy - Abattoir Blues - Let the Bells Ring - Fable of the Brown Ape

The Lyre of Orpheus tracklisting: The Lyre of Orpheus - Breathless - Babe, You Turn Me On - Easy Money - Supernaturally - Spell - Carry Me - O Children