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Tom Waits

Bad As Me (Anti-)

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The usual cacophony typifying Tom Waits’ most recent releases is tempered on this most brilliant recent offering. But that’s not to say all is ballads and sweet sounds---his battery of carnivalesque rhythmic gestures and oddball characters still rule the show (“Bad As Me” and “Hell Broke Luce”). One can’t help feel we are witnessing a kinder more approachable side to Waits. Take “Face to the Highway” or the Delta blues-influenced “Talking at the Same Time”---his gravelly growl is softened as his voice reaches for a higher register. And when was the last time he pulled out his piano-lounge love song hat as he does with “Kiss Me”? Tom Waits soothing? Better believe it.

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