From opener and lead single 'We No Who U R' to the closing title track, NC and his crew give us poetry and storytelling underlayed by intricate textures that are anything but lazy.
As ever with the Bad Seeds, themes of religion, sex, rock 'n' roll, love, sin and redemption weave in and out ("there is no need to forgive", "the boys grow hard / hard to be heard", "I was the match that would fire up her snatch", "Robert Johnson and the devil - dunno who's gonna rip off who").
There's also plenty of the eye-popping visual imagery Cave does better than anyone ("I got a foetus on the leash", "mermaids sun themselves out on the rocks"), while Miley Cyrus joins Avril Lavigne and Kylie Minogue on Cave's dubious reference list - though she seems to have got off relatively lightly.
Cave calls Warren Ellis's loops as the "tiny, trembling heartbeat" of the ghost-incubator baby that is the album, and it's a fine description. On tracks like 'We Real Cool' and 'Finishing Jubilee Street' it's the repeated instrumental snippets that hold the free-form stories alive - stopping them from disintegrating into a ramble.
The Original Seeds compilations show that the Bad Seeds have never been shy about showing off their influences and you can hear more-than-traces of Leonard Cohen ('We No Who U R'), Ginsberg-inspired Bob Dylan ('Higgs Boson Blues') and most strikingly, the full-on drawl of Berlin-era Lou Reed ('Jubilee Street', 'Push The Sky Away') here.
How this all might translate to the 5,000-seater arenas Mick was sick of playing is yet to be seen, but - on plastic at least - after 30 years and 15 records, The Bad Seeds are still a subtle force to be reckoned with.
Tracks to download: 'We No Who U R', 'We Real Cool' 'Water's Edge', 'Push The Sky Away'
If you like this, you'll like: Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan
Watch the 'Jubilee Street' music video below: