I have been a Tom Waits fan for many years ever since I heard Small Change. unlike many artists he has never stood still but has evolved musically, mostly with great result and with only the odd let down. His new album, Bad As Me, is a very strong collection that effortlessly fuses elements of different genres such as blues, folk, jazz and rock. From the breezy, exciting opener of Chicago the album sets a high standard and sustains it. There is more blues and folk stylings than usual. The quality of song writing is high (humouress, clever and tragic) and Waits voice sounds better than ever. Stand out tracks include Chicago, Pay Me, Bad As Me, Last Leaf and Hell Broke Luce. The latter track demonstrates incredible invention for a man in his sixties and is a riot. For me the album never reaches the heights of Waits very best work. My favourite albums are still Rain Dogs, Small Change, Alice and Bone Machine. The invention isn't quite there on BAD AS ME and a few tracks sound a bit similar here and there especially the slower tracks which aren't his best. However, its is still a very strong album by an incredible artist and far more accessible and likable than his last studio album Real Gone. Can't wait to see what he does next.
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