Album Review

Waits, Tom – “Bad As Me” – [Anti]

Thurston Hunger   11/16/2011   A Library, CD

It’s okay for KFJC to love a millionaire once in a while.
And Waits sends us a Blue Valentine that swims like
a Swordfish Trombone, and then rocks like Hellboy on
a tour of duty in Fallujah. But this ain’t no lifetime
achievement award wart. For such a recognizable voice,
he sure gets a lot of range out those rusty pipes. And
come on, Marc Ribot in the infantry, Charlie Musselwhite
sent on a boxcar to a fade-out. And yeah, Lobos, Stones
and Peppers are in the stir-fry. With Richards even
serving as an angle of incidence for “Satisfied” (which
is elevated by the sound tunnel at 2:52). Very cool to
see that Gino Robair winds up in the trinket trunk on
this release. And Bernie Madoff on the silent background
vox on “Talking at the Same Time.” You want an “Intelligent
Fuck”, catch “Hell Broke Luce” that song, with it’s
Dr. Seuss drawing the devils deuce is a lot less obscene
than a war without an exit strategy, or even a proper
introduction. The only thing more sincere than the angry
moments on this release are the sweet ones. “Kiss Me”
is a helluva anniversary gift. Lyrically there’s a loose
vibe of moving on, to Chicago if not onward to the next
realm. Still trusting his muse, hell he married her.
I’m more than glad to celebrate another birth of theirs.

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