Release date: 04/01/10 Sparse and icy but with an underlying warmth of heart this is a collaboration between two artists who already work closely together and have a similar ear for the beauty and tragedy of story. One might argue that much of Cave’s previous work is intensely cinematic in cast, specifically in the drama he builds up lyrically. With this album however lyrics are not present and as such his piano comes to the fore and the piece as a whole appears more reminiscent of a Dirty Three composition due to Ellis’ instrumental bent. In fact it seems to sit somewhere between an out and out film soundtrack and a new album by the pair although it is not totally appreciable in its own right, mainly due to the use of overemotional strings as an accompaniment that crop up all too often in film scores. There is very little percussion in the album and for the most part it relies on a delicate interplay between piano and violin with the piano often adopting a repeated simple melody and the violin floating over the top with sustained almost drone like notes. It is this airy nature of the violin part that gives the sensation of chill along with a certain flicker of hope. In fact both artists seem more subdued than in their individual projects or other collaborations, of course this is due to the nature of the work as a commission. The appearance of drums on only a few tracks is accompanied by a drone, quite possibly some type of bagpipe, and a general tumultuousness in tone, with Ellis stepping up the vigorous bowing of his instrument. One can only assume that these points represent dramatic moments in the film judging by the titles, ‘The Cannibals’, ‘The House’ and ‘The Cellar’. There is no doubt that the pair are extremely accomplished musicians and the resulting work is highly enjoyable, especially to those who already appreciate them as musicians in their own right. Though it could be said that it lacks some of the undeniably immense creativity that has been exhibited by both men in the past this is really an unfair criticism due to the circumstances surrounding the creation of the piece and I would find no trouble in recommending it as a worthwhile purchase that deserves repeated listenings. Rating: 7.5/10 'Ave a word? Sound off in our Fourum!