Tom Waits - Bad As Me (Cover Artwork)

Tom Waits

Tom Waits: Bad As MeBad As Me (2011)
Anti- Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: misterspikemisterspike
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Another decade, another era for Tom Waits. It's been that way for close to 40 years at this point, you know. The recent Rock ‚??n Roll Hall of Fame inductee (Neil Young gave the speech,) has made a career of being somewhat of a chameleon. The '70s found Waits exploring his bar-soaked, jazz-influenced, piano-based period on albums such as The Heart of Saturday Night and Closing Time. A new wife and new sobriety heralded the '80s with the landmark album Rain Dogs and Waits ushered a new era and a new style (discovering "found" instruments such as pots, pans, garbage tins and overhead airplanes) when Bone Machine was released in 1992 (None other than the Ramones covered the latter's "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" on their swan song, Adios Amigos!)

Waits has focused on other projects since the mid-'90s. Occasional acting, some fishing with John Lurie (check out "Fishing With John" on YouTube sometime) has occupied most of his time since then (OK, with an album or two compiling music and a thematic show or two--but it's Tom Waits and he‚??s prolific, dammit!). In 2011, Waits comes out with his first collection of new material in seven years with Bad As Me.

The frenetic pace and harmonica (and trademark whiskey/nicotine/sandpaper-soaked vocals by Waits) of "Chicago" set the tone. It's clear from the opening that Waits is taking the full scope of his career and throwing it into his newest project--and it's amazing.

To analyze each song would not only be a disservice to the listener, but a vast misrepresentations of Waits' lyrical prowess. Love, loss, politics ("Talking at the Same Time" is particularly prescient, along with "Hell Broke Luce") are all covered. The closing song, "New Year's Eve," brings all of his talent to a crescendo, incorporating the lyrics to the standard "Auld Lang Syne" to his own song to bring a feeling of melancholy and longing reminiscent of Waits' classic "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis".

Tom Waits continues to be someone a bar-regular would want to sit down next to over a pint (or a shot) and a smoke and talk for hours without noticing the time. Bad As Me only serves to reinforce that thought, and in the best ways. The 45 minutes you spend with this album are not only quick yet melancholy, but beg you to refill your glass and listen again. Tom Waits continues to be an enigma. And, seriously, who would have it any other way?


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
overdefined (December 2, 2011)

"To analyze each song would not only be a disservice to the listener, but a vast misrepresentations of Waits‚?? lyrical prowess."

And yet more than half of your review is about legacy and NOT THE ALBUM.

misterspike (November 15, 2011)

@eatdog ... Yeah, Keith played on a few songs. I totally missed out on mentioning that. Good one.

jayvanveen (November 14, 2011)

Tom Waits is an unequaled genius. He is better than anything else that has ever been posted on this website. Anybody that thinks poorly of him or his songs is a stupid idiot. That's a fact.

eatdogs (November 14, 2011)

he had some good collaborations on this album. you should have mentioned some of those. keith richards played on, like four songs i think.

TheMike (November 12, 2011)

Outstanding. Could be my favourite of 2011.

levidolphin (November 12, 2011)

from never hearing him before kinda perspective- this is pretty entertaining shit i like almost all of the songs.. a good change up from dead to me banner pilot cobra skulls rotation and scorpios

zatransis (November 11, 2011)

Personally, this could be my favorite album from Tom. It's hard to pick a favorite, but this album feels very focused while at the same time speaker to many of his "phases". Amazing album. As a side note, the art direction for the album is amazing as well.

misterspike (November 11, 2011)

Yeah, that totally isn't the cover art. And to the person commenting about my emphasis on his past albums - that was the point. You can hear those influences on the new record. But I appreciate the criticism.

beanpie (November 11, 2011)

My LP has different cover art. The 16pg Booklet is kinda rad too.

DrGunn (November 11, 2011)

need to spend more time with it, but i've been enjoying it so far. i think all the weaker songs are sequenced towards the beginning and the ballads are way better than the rockers. it seems more backwards-looking than most of his albums though, like "pay me" sounds straight off frank's wild years, or "kiss me" sounds straight off of blue valentine, or "last leaf" sounds straight off of mule variations, etc.

skolarx (November 11, 2011)

I like this album a lot, though nothing on it really hit me like some of the songs on Mule Variations or Real Gone, although overall I think it's better than RG and much better than either Alice or Blood Money. Its also light years better than just about everything else that came out this year.

Longshot (November 11, 2011)

Interested in picking this up, but that cover art is pretty awful. Eesh.

preston (November 11, 2011)

Everything Tom Waits does is gold. Everything.

Amoeba (November 11, 2011)

I think this is the promo-cover... I saw another and a better one

TheDrunkPunk (November 11, 2011)

lemmy is waaaayyyy bader

Crowbells (November 11, 2011)

Love Tom Waits, but the cover to this record is very very bad.

mattramone (November 11, 2011)

The title is mystifying, as nothing in the world is as bad as a Tom Waits song.

stillanonymous (November 11, 2011)

You need not analyze each song, but at least spend more time describing the album than introducing it.

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