Tom Waits | Bad As Me

Anti (2011)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  October 25, 2011
4.0 4.0 Stars

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"Roll my vertebrae out like dice/Let my skull be a home for the mice/Let me bleach like the bones on a beach/I'll be hard like a pit from a peach," Tom Waits growls and spits, cheeky and sibilant, on "Satisfied," the ideological linchpin of his latest studio album. An answer song to the Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," it features none other than Keith Richards wrangling a guitar riff — as far as mortality-obsessed junkyard boogie-woogie goes, it doesn't get any finer. Waits is twentysomething albums into one of America's all-time most idiosyncratic and engaging rock-and-roll careers, and this simple subversion of a rock truism — give me satisfaction or give me death — is what it's all about. Bad as Me, his first album of new material in seven years, is a tour de force of wise ol' swagger and new-century blues — "that feel," perhaps, as Waits and Richards sang about years ago. Flush with songs of new beginnings ("Kiss Me," "Get Lost," the Chess chug-a-lug "Chicago") and mannish-boy declarations ("It takes a raised right man to keep a happy hen"), Bad as Me feels like the second wind of a lived-in thing.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Tom Waits, Tom Waits,  More more >
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