'the best of nick cave and the bad seeds' truly lives up to its name, condensing his most intriguing songs into one excellent collection. though it lacks a chronological sequence, the seemingly random track listing works surprisingly well, from the opening van morrison-gone-bad raucousness of 'deanna' to the final chaotic blast of 'from her to eternity'. though the compilation highlights cave's penchant for morbid narratives, it also includes disarmingly sincere ballads like 'into my arms', 'are you the one that i've been waiting for?', and 'straight to you', with the bad seeds providing unusually subtle backing. cave's trademark dark theatricality is still at the fore, however, on bleak yet driving songs such as 'the mercy seat', 'tupelo', 'do you love me?', and, of course, the sinister classic 'red right hand'.
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