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 Everett True

that new Tom Waits album reviewed in full

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Tom Waits - Bad As Me cover

As a friend wrote on Facebook, “It’s the best kind of ‘more of the same”.* So here’s my challenge to you:

Find me just one review – online, or in print – that more eloquently sums up Tom Waits’ 17th studio album. I don’t care how many words the reviewer has got to play with. I don’t care how consummate a grasp of the English language they command. I don’t care how entertaining they choose to be, how inspirational or inspired or insipid, whether I end up with an insight into the Fourth Wall that I never possessed before. I don’t care if they’re fucking Germaine Greer. (Yes, and I know you can read that sentence two ways.) I don’t care if they weep Chai Tea and drink camel’s blood. I just don’t think it’s possible.

Find me that review and I will doff my cap to you.

Indeed, find me one review that doesn’t – somewhere along the line – phone it in, and mention the words bloody-minded, curmudgeon, barfly, lowlife and/or distortion, fire, brimstone, comical and/or raw, unnerving, sinister and/or bluesy, rollicking, gravelly voice, haunting and I’ll doff my cap and fill it to the trim with the very finest new femme-pop I can find. And drink camel’s blood.

All the reviews I’ve seen so far compare Mr Waits’ new album with The Pogues, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen … why? Why would you compare Mr Waits with anyone but himself?

*I would like to temporise that phrase. It’s the best kind of “more of the same”, with added Keith Richards.

P.S. Yes, I have it heard it. Glorious. Still don’t think Alex’s phrase can be bested, though.

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