A stirring topic that doesn't quite conjure an emotive response

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Album Review: Mick Harvey - 'Sketches From The Book Of The Dead'

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Album Review: Mick Harvey – ‘Sketches From The Book Of The Dead’

The first solo offering from former Bad Seed man Harvey since he ended his association with Nick Cave (he’s worked with [a]PJ Harvey[/a] on [b]‘Let England Shake’[/b] in the meantime) is – quelle surprise – a death-rattling bit of doomy, country-tinged singer-songwriterdom centred around the theme of absent friends.

Sadly, a lack of focus in melody and structure means it’s not quite as atmospheric as Mick seems to think, and the doleful likes of [b]‘The Ballad Of Jay Givens’[/b], with its “scraggy gum trees”, has neither the drama nor the substance of his work with others.

Duncan Gillespie

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