Easily one of the best albums of the 1990s, The Boatman's Call is also, according to Cave, one of his most personal. This album is brutally introspective. It's intense, while eschewing the hell for leather, brutal rock 'n' roll that characterized much of the Birthday Party and early Bad Seeds' output.
It sounds like Cave poured a lifetime of bittersweet melancholy and hard-won wisdom into this album and it shows, in the music as well as the lyrics. The more you listen, the more nuance emerge from the music: a beautifully-placed violin here, just the right piano note complementing a vocal phrase there. Cave's dissolving relationship with his ex-wife and PJ Harvey form the main lyrical concerns, along with his new-found Christian faith; this is passionate music from one of those guys, like Lou Reed and Iggy, that surprises you by staying alive as much as his consistently remarkable music.
We love our Queen! Boatman's Call was recently reissued, and you can buy it from the Bad Seeds, here. Cave's solo work with Warren Ellis is also fantastic.