10 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Opening with the searing epiphany of a con ascending the electric chair (“The Mercy Seat”), Tender Prey marked a firm step in the evolution of the Bad Seeds’ sound, reconciling the dissonance of the band’s early albums with Cave’s growing interest in Americana and blues. As with most of Cave’s material from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the music here treads a provocative line between camp and gravity, gallows humor and genuine violence: Take the glammed-up gospel of “Deanna,” on which death figures as a punchline, and the Blind Willie Johnson interpolation “City of Refuge,” on which it’s anything—everything—but.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Opening with the searing epiphany of a con ascending the electric chair (“The Mercy Seat”), Tender Prey marked a firm step in the evolution of the Bad Seeds’ sound, reconciling the dissonance of the band’s early albums with Cave’s growing interest in Americana and blues. As with most of Cave’s material from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the music here treads a provocative line between camp and gravity, gallows humor and genuine violence: Take the glammed-up gospel of “Deanna,” on which death figures as a punchline, and the Blind Willie Johnson interpolation “City of Refuge,” on which it’s anything—everything—but.

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