Tom Waits – Bad as Me

Any new Tom Waits record is a great thing and we have waited seven years for this one but boy was it worth the wait. As soon as ‘Chicago’ rumbles in all rasps and horns you know you are in for an experience and it’s an experience that only Mr Waits can provide. While channelling the ghosts of Beefheart and acting as a well-worn father figure to Nick Cave, ‘Raised Right Men’ is the twisted political brother of Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’, we go on a journey through blues, jazz, skiffle, be-bop and surf pop on tracks like ‘Get Lost’ with a Little Richard style solo provided by none other than Keith Richards. Waits doesn’t stop there though and showcases his falsetto on ‘Talking at the Same Time’ and his skills as a lyricist on ‘Face to the Highway’ with a series of couplings so simplistically beautiful it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been done before ‘The cradle wants a baby, The kitchen wants a pan, The heart wants a certain kind of lover if it can, The devil wants a sinner, The sky wants a bird, The table wants a dinner, And the lips want her’.  But for me it’s the title track ‘Bad as Me’ that encompasses everything Waits as he utilises the lowest part of his vocal range and despite his age still sounds like a naughty child having fun. ‘Hell Broke Luce’ clatters like feral cats in an alleyway all bin lids and bass notes and the bar room swig along of ‘New Year’s Eve’ closes the album in beer spilling frivolity. ‘Bad as Me’ is the most accessible Waits album for a long time and one that sees the deep voiced blues man sound both familiar and fresh at the same time in a way that should please fans and gain new ones. I haven’t heard a record for a while that I’ve wanted to revisit so much, I did about eight listens straight, let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another seven years for the next one.

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2 Responses to Tom Waits – Bad as Me

  1. Gonna go order it right now! Whoo hooo!

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