Songwriter, novelist, singer, screenwriter and dramatist Nick Cave's 15th record with his longtime backing band the Bad Seeds, "Push the Sky Away," is not a work to be appreciated casually. Cave delves into a meandering, meditative world that rarely offers the kind of hooks or tethers that dictate toe-tapping singalongs.
But Cave fans understand that following such a mercurial and curious artist dictates adjusting expectations, adapting to new scenarios and, most important, listening closely. The slow-burning pace of "Push the Sky Away" requires all of the above, as well as a love for gruff piano and string ballads and Cave's conversational warble. In the title track, lyrics remain predictably mysterious, with disconnected lines about the sky, an unshakable feeling and a belief that rock 'n' roll "gets you right down to your soul."