The thing I like about Tom Waits is his songs are little movies. So it is impossible to hear Innocent When You Dream (a particularly good song on this album) without seeing barroom grotesques, squeezing tears from their faces as they howl out the tune. And of course the irony of a beautiful, delicate lyric being throttled by these Tom Waits reprobates is just perfect.
One other thing I like about Mr T is that he 'acts' his songs. Therefore no matter how heartfelt, angry or etc the song, there is always a bit of tongue in the cheek, a bit of burlesque, a little twinkle in the eye. Therefore none of the rock star posturing of his peers, because there's just a touch of silliness and absurdity to it all, no matter how genuinely heartfelt.
By the way, this is one of his finest records. When you first here it, it sounds so diverse it's like flicking channels when you're drunk in a hotel room someplace far away. Vegas, devil, german barroom, operetta, spaghetti western, the Muppets (fozzy bear missed his train).
Then you realise, after about the fourth listen, that life is indeed a vegas devil german barroom cast as an operatic spaghetti western and that fozzy really has missed his train.
Don't worry about buying an easy Mr T album first. Just get on that plane fool and fly.