Album: Tom Waits, Bad as Me (Anti)

 

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The Independent Culture

If Coldplay are a music critic's kryptonite, then Tom Waits is critical catnip, applauded as the true one-off he undoubtedly is even when his music sounds like sandpaper being scratched over dropping dustbin lids.

The good news is that Bad as Me is not one of those albums. At an age (61) when other artists are falling back on former glories, Waits adds a few new personae to his ever-expanding cavalcade of colourful characters.

So while there is plenty of that familiar Thylvester rasp, there is also a soul falsetto, a gentle croon and a host of other voices summoned to service songs as good as any he has written.

At a time when music is too often content to offer consolation for the comfortably numb, Tom Waits is still on a one-man mission to remind us what can be achieved. Bad as Me is as good as it gets.

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