nickcave_dig.jpg Oh, old Nick, how long have I worshipped thee? Why, it began misty moons ago... you asked "Do You Love Me?" and my answer was an awestruck and dry-throated "Yes". Forsooth, I meant it truly, and I let love in. I stuck with you while you smashed in the popstress's head with a bloodied rock and cradled her tiny body. I watched and winced while Blixa left you, and you found god, and I listened to your lonely snowbound lyrical wanderings. On the highest peak and in the lowest fell, you mused and bellowed and ever I lent you my ear. But inside I wept, for your furious powers seemed to me to wane with age, to grow grander and bigger but to hold less truth, and your bold poetry blustered and sloshed where once it made the sky thunder and the sea boil.But in the guise of Grinderman you revealed that you were nursing some flickering flame. 'No Pussy Blues' was a dumb lightning bolt of a song with howling guitars and shrieked, frustrated lyrics. You took to the guitar for the first time ever, and... daymn!... something stirred. You were having some fun again.An, Praises Be!, Dig, Lazarus, Dig continues the renewal. The title track is a lively blues-rock charge that sets out the stall, full of shakin' percussion, slide guitar and growling voodoo organ. 'Today's Lesson' sounds like a house band playing while the city burns down around them; 'Moonland' is a real gone, steamed-up sex ballad; 'Night of the Locust' is a claustrophobic trawl through a brightly moonlit fantasy. 'We Call Upon The Author' seems an impassioned indictment of an absentee god (a recurrent theme that borders on an obsession) with electronic textures and apoplectic bursts of noise backing up it's percussive full-tilt gallop. This is all of the anger and poetry, and less of the pomp; a leaner, fitter, looser record that lets up on the relentless pursuit of wisdom and pauses to have a look around.The second half doesn't fare quite so well, at least not at this early stage of listening; 'Hold On To Yourself' is drenched in background string squalls, but lolls lazily to it's conclusion, and 'Jesus Of The Moon' falls a little flat. But overall Dig, Lazarus, Dig! is a welcome return to form from a deservedly enduring musician.83%LinksNick Cave [official site] [myspace] [buy it]