Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tom Waits is BACK!!

A new Tom Waits studio album is always cause for a celebration (at least in this house) and especially when it's been 7 years since the last one. This week finds me obsessively listening to the ragged beauty that is "Bad as Me". Waits is one of those polarizing artists that you either love or hate....there is no in between. But this new album may accomplish a feat that is almost impossible for an artist who's been in the business 40 years; this thing is so good that Waits may just find himself with a whole new generation of fans.

It's all here; the gruff howls, low bellows, high squeals, and the soft lamenting as only Tom Waits can pull off. And the fact that none of it sounds dated or regurgitated is amazing considering how long he's been at this. In fact, this album sounds as fresh and new as anything my ears heard in this fantastic year in music.

Helped by a stellar cast of characters featuring Waits' longtime guitarist extraordinaire Marc Ribot, Los Lobos's David Hidalgo, and the immortal Keith Richards, the music sounds like a strange postcard from a rockabilly, Tin Pan Alley fueled, lowdown house party from beyond. And the lyrics...oh those lyrics. This is what we Waits freaks keep coming back, and our hero certainly doesn't disappoint here.

Will this rank up with Waits classics like "Small Change", "Rain Dogs", or "Mule Variations"? It's too early to tell and I don't care. I feel like a kid with a strange new toy, and I'm gonna keep playing with it until I get bored or it breaks down.

Thanks Tom!!!

1 comment:

DougoBlues said...

Good review. I really like this one a lot too.

I actually overheard someone on my bowling team singing one of these songs!