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The Good Son
Mute 1990

Buy it at Insound!

The Good Son is definitely the Bad Seeds most easy listen up to this point in their career. How easy is it? It’s so easy that I bought a cassette for my mother to play in her car after it came out. That's no joke. And that’s not really so strange as most of it certainly sounds like something that could be found in one corner or another of your parents’ record collection – maybe somewhere between a 50s Kurt Weill musical and a Barry Manilow album. OK, to be more fair yet less clever - early Scott Walker, early Tom Waits, and other piano and orchestra-driven balladry that mixes it up a bit. And as easy listening stars had great taste in songwriters, doing only the best of Jacques Brel or Jimmy Webb, here Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds perform their most solid collection of songs up to this point in their career. The Bad Seeds were certainly never strangers to the ballad - only this time the proportion of ballads to heavy and experimental material leans much further towards the softer, safer end of the spectrum.

Foi Na Cruz”, sets a very syrupy international soft pop vibe for the rest of the record to follow. But it’s more diverse than you may remember. There are a diversity of songs – sparse piano ballads, modernist atonal bits, a couple of exotic rhythm driven tunes, and even a gospel rocker. Each time the record starts to soften up a bit too much, the hammer comes down hard to give you a little relief. Overall, nary a dud be present in the bunch. By the time “Lucy” references “The Piano Has Been Drinking” as if it were orchestrated for the Great White Way, your will find your belly quite satisfied with this collection of pure song sustenance .

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, there are electric guitars on this album, but they’re even less pronounced than on Tender Prey. Though “The Hammer Song” contains a great exercise in amplified dissonance, the guitars primarily function of the electric guitars on The Good Son is subtle ambience. Hence, Kid Congo Powers jumped ship not long after.


Hear Kid tell you more about recording The Good Son in Brazil, mixing it in Berlin, and parting ways with the Bad Seeds in Los Angeles.


Go back to Kid Congo Powers' Discography, Pt. 2 | Go to Kid Congo Powers Pt. 2 Home
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