The Information on: Tom Waits' 'Mule Variations'
Thursday 22 April 1999
The first album in seven years from the man whose voice is not so much gravelly as pieced together from chunks of industrial rubble. Earlier work - albums like Frank's Wild Years and Swordfishtrombones - changed the musical landscape. This follows close on the heels of an even rarer venture into vinyl by long-time buddy Chuck E Weiss.
Where's He Coming From?
Almost everywhere, as usual. There are ballads, some rootsy stuff and the spoken-with-odd-noises numbers, telling the stories of people whose luck just never seems to be in. In other words, nothing more than long- term Waits devotees would reasonably expect.
What They Say About It
"Another landmark album from one of modern music's most valuable talents," Andy Gill, The Independent.
"This is the first Tom Waits album that lives up to your expectations and nothing else... it's wonderful, but somehow, at least to this Waits worshipper, the details don't get under your skin," Garry Mulholland, Time Out.
"Great by most people's standards. It starts with the sound of the artist banging a chest of drawers in a Mexican hotel room, and signs off with a spiritual that outclasses Blur's 'Tender' in every way. The interim is batty, often quite fabulously so," Stuart Bailie, NME.
Where To Get It
Mule Variations is out now on Epitaph Records.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre