Friday, December 16, 2011

Mick Harvey Reads From The Book of the Dead

When you name your album Sketches from the Book of the Dead you pretty much have set yourself up for a certain kind of emotionally draining experience. For Mick Harvey that's exactly what he's done and his effort on this morose and grim record is anything but happy go lucky. This former member of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds has obviously been influenced by his former band, whether consciously or subconsciously, and as a result come up with one monster of a depressing record.

Acoustic in sound, intimate in approach, and heavy in emotion, Sketches from the Book of the Dead is anything but a folk album. Instead, this is an acoustic form of storytelling that is weaved together by Mick's genius writing and his quiet, almost spooky, demeanor. This is a haunting record that tells tales of the human condition and does so in an almost world weary manor. The feel good album of the year, this is not; but then again when your record is called Sketches from the Book of the Dead you shouldn't be expecting hugs and bunnies.

Mick Harvey may not be in the Bad Seeds anymore, but all the time he spent with them and St. Nick has certainly rubbed off in all the best ways. Sketches from the Book of the Dead is a fantastic record that would probably make Nick Cave blush...and that's one heck of a compliment.

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