This album is bad for your health. I know that because it’s all I’ve listened to once it was released last Friday and I’ve been nothing but melancholic since. There are a few precedents for material this mournful in popular music: Van Morrison’s ‘TB Sheets’, Leonard Cohen’s ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’, David Bowie’s Blackstar: but Skeleton Tree stands almost alone as the blackest aural pit. It sits towards the top of the iTunes charts amongst Now That’s What I Call Music 94 and a dozen songs featuring Justin Bieber like a gaping wound. If none of this makes the record sound especially appealing, then I’ve captured it well: it’s not. But it’s also one of the most powerful and emotionally raw collections of music ever produced.