Tom Waits
Bad As Me


3.0
good

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
December 21st, 2011 | 18 replies | 2,341 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


Every Tom Waits record deserves attention, for the respect of a musical nebulous has been earned some times over, and while Bad As Me may not reach the usual standards of his multifaceted career, it still has a certain charm even if it seems directionless. The first two songs give away a more upbeat and super old-school pizzazz with some groove and brass and a very clear idea established in his interviews. He has said that his wife, also his producer, wanted him to cut his songs down to bare bones, or in her own words “get in and get the *** out”, and because of that none of the songs really drag at all and produced some interesting 21st century R&B/rockabilly. But at the same time, a lot of them have small lungs and breathe in too hard.

There’s a wonderful atmosphere created throughout the first half of the album where, without even trying, Waits creates a sort of vintage dance churning, and a lot of it is due to his vocal delivery, which thankfully doesn’t overshadow the tiny nuances of trombone slides, seaside acoustic fiddling, or extra percussion. In turn, for the more dawdling tracks, there’s still a sway-like allure, like on “Face to the Highway” especially featuring a western-tinged mix of lo-fi guitar swells and a steady triplet-feel with what sounds like woodblocks and twangy strings, sometimes with a fragile violin. This is only unfortunate for with “Pay Me,” “Back in the Crowd,” and more or less a lot of the latter half of the album, these other tracks are severely lacking in enthusiasm and enticement. Even “Hell Broke Luce” kinda runs through itself by being that token song on the album that sounds like Bone Machine.

So what do we have here in the end? Carnival and dirge delivery, frenzied lyrics paralleling the fraught guitar attacks, plethoras of sax (and sex perhaps) with other brass, banging of pianos and percussives, which is basically the Tom Waits formula, and so it works here and there on this album, but probably not for much long after. The re-listen value is diminished compared to his past, so maybe he should do the opposite of his wife’s opinion for a while. He’s got the energy to experiment more than this, and he has to know that. “I don’t wanna feel all cooped up”, he says. Well, try something else, sir! In the meantime, Bad As Me can serve as an entertaining throwback to his past and music’s past, but not much else.

Side note: something else listeners may have fun looking for are Keith Richard’s guitar parts sporadically splattered throughout the record.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
omnipanzer
December 21st 2011


21448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In Bad as Me I think he's created one of his most accessible albums to date. I would even consider it
a great introductory to those not familiar with his work. I hope it isn't being rated highly just
because it's Tom Waits however I do think this is one of his finer albums.

Hell Broke Luce is a bad ass jam.

Have an "I disagree but support your right to your own opinion" POS sir.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2011


6084 Comments


stop it man, you are making everybody else in here look lazy



just kiddin'



Will read later.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

CaptWaffles
December 21st 2011


192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is probably closer to what I think than I'd care to admit. Good review

DoctorNurse
December 21st 2011


475 Comments


i enjoyed this album, but it seemed pretty 'safe'. I was never compelled to go back to it after 3 or 4 listens

omnipanzer
December 21st 2011


21448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nowhere near Generic.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 21st 2011


50341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah

Digging: The Brave Little Abacus - Masked Dancers

Imperial
December 21st 2011


1730 Comments


His voice is so hard to listen too.

DoubtGin
December 21st 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no it's not

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 21st 2011


50341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

His voice is amazing

Imperial
December 21st 2011


1730 Comments


I don't think it's bad I'm just finding it hard...it's not what I'm used too. Face to the Highway is amazing.

jingledeath
December 21st 2011


7104 Comments


dayum boi ure on a roll

fireaboveicebelow
December 21st 2011


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not for long

SCREAM!
December 21st 2011


10076 Comments


boo

fireaboveicebelow
December 21st 2011


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Three ghost negs sweet

porch
December 31st 2011


8460 Comments


people are used to tom waits reviews gushing about what a genius he is

pretty much agree with this review


Tyrael
December 31st 2011


20874 Comments


I take it you don't like this then, porch?

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Hordewolf
December 31st 2011


353 Comments


"people are used to tom waits reviews gushing about what a genius he is

pretty much agree with this review"
^ Not necessarily but this: "His voice is amazing". Also, he's influential.



porch
December 31st 2011


8460 Comments


I take it you don't like this then, porch?


it's alright, just getting tired of his shtick and the way he basically makes the same album over and over again




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