Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have carved a name for themselves as ‘go-to’ guys for creating a moody soundtrack, notably for The Proposition, Assassination of Jesse James and The Road. This time, they have allowed outside elements in, star-studded cast including Mark Lanegan, Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson backed by the Bootleggers.
Lanegan features frequently across the album and he is in fine voice here on tracks like Link Wray’s “Fire And Brimstone”, Captain Beefheart’s “Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do” and acoustic stomping cover of the Velvet Underground’s “White Light White Heat”. He is, however, trumped somewhat by Ralph Stanley, reprising his turn in Oh Brother Where Art Thou, transforming the aforementioned Velvet Underground track into a divine country shuffle.
Elsewhere, Emmylou Harris puts in fine performances on Cave/Ellis original “Cosmonaut”, Grandaddy’s “So You’ll Aim Towards The Sky” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Snake Song”.
Regrettably, Warren Ellis’ violin is represented only on the four minutes of “End Crawl”, while the album finishes with Willie Nelson’s “Midnight Run”. Having a selection of vocalists on board makes it a different experience to previous soundtracks, less of a unified proposition and more of a curiosity, which would be of interest to fans of any of the artists contained.