NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS Nocturama (Anti/Epitaph) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
For all Nick Cave's claims that he wants to lose some of the preciousness of recent releases, Nocturama (out Tuesday) isn't the frenzied, fur-flying affair you might expect from the reunion with Birthday Party producer Nick Launay. The body count is shockingly low for a Bad Seeds album. Take away the two scorchers Dead Man In My Bed ("It's a song about marriage," quips Cave) and the epic closer Babe, I'm On Fire and you've got a wonderfully gentle affair filled with Cave earnestly crooning simple and direct songs of hope and love. Just in time for Valentine's Day.