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Bad As Me
Tom Waits Bad As Me
Released 21 October 2011
Producer(s) Tom Waits, Kathleen Brennan
Label Anti
Length 44:40
Genre Rock, experimental
Website www.tomwaits.com

I have just recently been introduced to Mr. Tom Waits by a friend who saw him live in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on his Glitter and Doom tour back in 2008 and was just blown away by his performance. He said it was the best concert he ever attended. Having subscribed to a stream of this brand new album Bad As Me through www.tomwaits.com - I just can’t stop listening to it. This is the first album of his that I’ve listened to and I can’t help wondering what have I been doing all these years? It is incredible. Every song is so different, every song is an absolute treat.

This is his seventeenth studio album and the first he has released in seven years, since 2004’s Real Gone. There is a good mix of subjects throughout, from the recession fable of 'Talking At The Same Time', "you gotta build your nest high enough to ride out the flood", to the war trenches of 'Hell Broke Luce', "Kelly Presutto got his thumb blown off, Sergio’s developing a real bad cough". 'Get Lost' is a bluesy jangle that makes you want to dance where 'Pay Me' and 'New Year's Eve' are emotional masterpieces.

Guest appearances include long time collaborator Keith Richards on guitar but also complimenting Waits’ gravelly growl sharing vocals on the outstanding 'Last Leaf'. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea lends his bass lines to 'Hell Broke Luce'.

This is the first album in many a year that I have really connected with. It’s time to visit some more of his back catalogue. So, as Tom shouts and snarls on opener 'Chicago', "All aboard".

- Leon Byrne