Tom Waits: Bad as Me

Album review
Tom Waits: Bad as Me

Tom Waits

Bad as Me

Label: Anti
Media: LP
Genre: Rock/pop

Tom Waits’ Bad As Me picks up where the inimitable singer/songwriter left off in with his rowdy Real Gone (2004) and lurid Blood Money/Alice (2002). The hiatus certainly hasn’t blunted Waits’ ironic brand of gallows humor and creepy tenderness. But this album also revisits well-trampled musical ground and the novelty of musical genre mayhem is showing its age. Still, even déjà-vu Waits has few peers when it comes to deploying shape-shifting vocal personas and theatrics to describe the grit and randomness of hard times, love’s consequences, and fading dreams. And not lost is an added significance these tracks represent in a darkened economic climate. With ace musicians like Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo, Flea, son Casey on drums, and Stones’ legend Keith Richards on board, the tracks are lively, but the mix is messy and softly focused, overly compressed, and narrowly staged as if confined within a snow globe—faults as apparent on the Bernie Grundman- mastered 180-gram LP as the CD. Bad As Me does connect at times, sometimes powerfully—the “Last Leaf,” a survivor’s duet with Richards, has a tender resonance, and “Hell Broke Luce,” an industrial stomp that depicts a returning soldier’s alienation, offer the discs most unforgettable moments. If only there were more of them

More Info

  • primary artist, Tom Waits
  • LP

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