Nick Cave's Dark Obsessions

Cover art from Cave's new album, The Boatman's Call.

Nick Cave is nothing if not enigmatic, and unpredictable, which is one reason

fans continue to be fascinated with his morbid world-view. So it just makes

some kind of sense that the Australian rocker, who began his long, strange

journey through death and mayhem in the early 80's with the bleak-rockers in

the Birthday Party and who last year unleashed on the world the dismal

Murder Ballads , would follow such a dark release with an album of

plaintive, beautiful love ballads.

Produced by Cave and the Bad Seeds and

U2-collaborator Flood, The Boatman's Call (released today, March 11) is

an understated passion play built on 12 songs/ love poems that reveal a more

tender, but no less striking, side of Cave.

"I've wanted to do an album of

slow, melancholic songs for a while now," Cave told ATN. "I've always written a

fair amount of slow songs and they continue to be my favorite ones."

Actually, Cave said it was the experience of working on songs like the

bloody "Stagger Lee" from Murder Ballads at the same time as writing

these songs that made The Boatman's Call possible. "I was able to

satisfy my need to tell stories with Murder Ballads, so at the same time

I started to work on this more personal, inward-looking record."

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