Bad As Me
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Top Customer Reviews
I first became aware of Tom Waits in the very early '70's. I am a huge Zappa fan. My girlfriend had, for my birthday, gotten us tickets to 2, two, count 'em, two Frank Zappa's shows in the month of April, 1972. The first was at the vaunted OrpheumTheater in downtown Boston. The opening act was Ram-A-Tam, the waste of time band put together by Jimi's drummer since Jimi had died. Pity anyone who opened for Zappa. You were bound to be booed off the stage. The second show was at the gymnasium, sit on the floor, at Lowell Tech College. The opening act was some nobody named Tom Waits. So, with the huge balls it took to open for Zappa, there he stood. Famous beard, smokes, hat and attitude. I was hoping it would be over soon. It was just him, his piano and an electric bass player. I wish I could tell you what he played, but I can't. I only know I was blown away. I think the best summary of what he was like then is captured on the somewhat hard to find album, "The Dime Store Novels, Vol. 1. I remember being utterly blown away.Read more ›
Undoubtedly a new Tom Waits album is an event, and as aways he manages to say things in his unique fashion. Ironically, however, my problem is that the album's "strengths" highlighted by most of the other reviewers are in fact it's weaknesses, when measured against Tom's previous outputs and his status as our favorite off-beat icon. I agree fully that the songs are tightly-knit - the backing band is packed with luminaries, melodies and arrangements are carefully constructed, and Tom displays just about all of his various vocal persona's through the album. All of this makes for an easily accessible album with catchy hooks, but this isn't what I'm looking for when I sit down to listen to Tom. I can't shake the feeling that we are being treated to something formulaic, with all of the elements we know and love - some quirky instruments, a well-placed howl or growl, the gamut of emotions from rage to despair - being in attendance, but somehow Tom is going through the motions, showing off his skills and smarts, but neither baring his soul nor showing any new insights or musical directions. In many ways, it sounds more like an end-of career retrospective than a new beginning or "return to form".
Maybe I expect too much, but I think some realism is required amongst the idolatry amongst these reviews- this is a solid and polished album, but it is not a great one. It may also be a good introduction for those who don't know Tom's music (could this be possible?), but it doesn't get anywhere near to exposing his real genius.
This is the kind of music that'll dry your mouth out and make you thirsty for more. We've always needed Tom Waits to show us what music really is: vibrations just under the skin that warm the blood and make the heart grow. And we'll always need Tom Waits to remind us of that. I can become very desperate for his music. I am much less desperate today.
Buy. This. Album.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Oh, he is bad alright. This a great set of songs from out Meister. The bonus songs are great also. Wonder why they were left out of original.
A delight for Waits fans.
This is sooooooooo different, that I really just love it ! ! ! I was familiar with Tom going way back, but when I saw this recently, I decided that Tom Waits should attempt to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by G. M. C.
As always, for me he is the best. His music is unique and beautiful, his lyrics sometimes disturbing but also beautiful in a sort of way. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Fernando Montiel Ral