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Boomkat Product Review:
I suppose this was always going to be good wasn't it? We fell in love with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis's soundtrack to the stunning Aussie western (interestingly enough also written by Cave) 'The Proposition' and this is in many ways the sequel to that record taking many of its core elements but just refining them enough to make this a superior piece overall. Sadly I haven't seen the film but heard on its own this is still an intense and coherent listening experience, and seeing as a good proportion of albums I listen to are allegedly soundtracks to films that don't exist it seems fitting to hear this sans any visual accompaniment. We again find Dirty Three violinist and Bad Seed Warren Ellis taking control of the strings and Cave on piano but this is a coherent body of quite hauntingly abstract instrumental Americana, taking the themes the two had experimented with previously and contextualising them perfectly. Comparisons stretch from fabled American primitive folk music classics to modern orchestral film scores but the way Cave and Ellis harness all the styles into a record with glorious restraint and subtlety is astonishing. The gravitas they manage to achieve too defies the simplicity of the music, but with only meagre elements they elevate the score to places Hans Zimmer never really touches, and without the cloying saccharine of the Hollywood mainstream. Probably the best example of this is the opener, fittingly titled 'Rather Lovely Thing' which rises and falls majestically with the piano and violin intertwined throughout dancing together perfectly. Elsewhere the album reaches an emotional high with 'Last Ride Back to KC' and you come to the realisation that although this is supposedly a soundtrack album it bears more than favourable comparison to so many of the current crop of modern classical albums from artists such as Max Richter and Sylvain Chauveau. With scope and incredible skill Cave and Ellis have crafted their finest work yet, let's hope the film matches up to this and we might have a classic on our hands... Highly Recommended.