Waits' Bad As Me at a first glance

You couldn’t have possibly missed Tom Waits’ new album Bad As Me, and lo and behold if it wasn’t just the one that fell into my possession from a crooked crow’s nest this early afternoon.

Tom Waits follows on the same trail he’s been pursuing since Real Gone, minus the heavy percussions, with 16 well-written albeit short tunes that may prove better suited for radio play than recent releases. The poetical though cynical justice flows like it did during the red rainstorms of Blood Money, with clear musical scars from the hard-to-swallow Mule Variations.

When Get Lost looks back to a an imaginary E. Presley we feel the cheap taste of bourbon on the edge and underneath our oratory organs, just the way Waits should do. Then with Face to the Highway we catch a glimpse of the roadside romantic that we all know, but not long enough to taint the sad text of Pay Me.

There’s definitely more musical harmony in this album as compared to MV; a nicely tuned accordion, violin, piano, guitars and glockenspiel bring the point across. I even get guitaric vibes from The Shadows. The slow ballad Back In The Crowd paves the way for Bad As Me that must really kick your gut in a live performance. Though not the strongest song on this record, Kiss Me puts us back in the 70’s.

There’s definitely a little Alice in the mix. The aggression of Hell Broke Luce really doesn’t leave much to the imagination, it’s a songful of fear and loathing. Come New Year’s Eve you have a lump in your throat.

I bought the deluxe edition that naturally won’t fit in my CD shelves and will have to stay out of sight, with the ever-so-artistic Radiohead special editions. I’ll have to get a 2nd normal edition for the shelves. I do like the book though. I was standing in front of the stereo listening to the music and reading the music, and it occurred to me that I was holding the album like a preacher holds the Holy Bible — like some kind of magical weapon against evil. As usual, it’s great to hear Tom Waits again, and I look forward to his next album.
For some reason, there’s a lot of Keith Richards in this release.

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