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And The Ass Saw The Angel

Ambition is not always an admirable quality. When pop stars start branching out into other areas of the media, it's rarely a cause for celebration...

Ambition is not always an admirable quality. When pop stars start branching out into other areas of the media, it's rarely a cause for celebration. Many a once brilliant career has foundered on the rocks of the ill-advised vanity project. The acting career and the art exhibition are all too often indications of an ego gone out of control, and a talent being suddenly and abruptly stretched beyond its limits.



In this context, the publishing of Nick Cave's debut novel, And The Ass Saw The Angel, in 1988 should have prefaced his artistic death. Amazingly it didn't. Actually, if you could cope with his oppressive gothic tone throughout, it wasn't even that bad a book. He should have left it at that, though, for with this belated companion piece - a collection of readings from the novel accompanied by the incidental music from the theatrical adaptation, originally released with 'Tender Prey' in 1989 - Cave has gone too far.



An adjunct from his previously flawless musical career, 'And The Ass Saw The Angel' is a truly pointless release. Nick Cave does some mumbling, Harvey and Clayton-Jones make some ambient squiggly noises, and you're left with the distinct impression that this is a project which involved precious little effort and even less thought. The fact that Cave has chosen to bring 'And The Ass...' to our attention, however, implies an arrogance beyond any sense of artistic judgement. He is knowingly presenting us with something less than his best work, which is as grave an insult to his patient supporters as you can get.



So here's a memento of a book you never read, a play you never saw and an act of conceited career sabotage. One pompous ass, then, and no angels.
3 / 10

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