Earlier in the year after having reviewed Hot Chip's latest album, I remarked that I needed to learn the lesson that I don't care for nerdy indie/electronica. Apparently, another lesson I need to learn is that I don't care for older guy storyteller rock. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! has received almost universal acclaim, but it just doesn't do it for me. The appeal would seem to be in the stories being told, but as I've said before, I'm rarely interested in the lyrics; I'm more about good melody and hooks, and there aren't a lot here.
Nick Cave does have an interesting voice, deep and powerful. It's too bad he doesn't use it more. Many of the vocals are delivered as spoken-word or a sort of barely sung manner, often rather maniacally so, such as in the title track, which concerns Jesus having resurrected Lazarus, only to find "Larry" rather pissed off to no longer be dead. This track is fairly MOR for this album--other tracks are more upbeat, others less so.
"Moonland" has a nice, laid back vibe and prominent bass. "Lie Down Here (and Be My Girl)" has more melody to it than most tracks, including driving guitars and a piano riff. "More News from Nowhere," the album's last track, is quite long (almost 8 minutes), but it's pretty decent too, with a plodding, bass-driven melody. Otherwise, I'm taking a pass.
Best: Dig Lazarus Dig, Lie Down Here (and Be My Girl), More News from Nowhere