Albums to watch

Bad As Me

Tom Waits

Bad As Me

The 17th album from the gravel-voiced singer-songwriter turns up the urgency

ADM rating[?]

8.5

Label
Anti-
UK Release date
24/10/2011
US Release date
24/10/2011
  1. 10.0 |   The Irish Times

    The bawlers are wonderful, the brawlers full of muscle and mystery – and even the bastards have their place
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  2. 10.0 |   The Independent

    He strolls assuredly across the landscape of American music, turning his hand with equal facility to an extraordinary range of styles, and managing to invent one or two of his own along the way
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  3. 10.0 |   Clash

    A work of pure, true genius
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  4. 10.0 |   Daily Telegraph

    He has raided the junkyard for scraps of blues, soul, vaudeville, saloon balladry and early rock’n’roll and cranked them up into an unstoppable demolition derby of songs stripped to their essential parts
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  5. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    Tom Waits' music does what all great art should, it creates worlds
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  6. 9.5 |   A.V. Club

    This will certainly be one of the year’s best releases and deserves to be seen as one Waits’ finest achievements
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  7. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    This is entry-level Waits for newcomers, and for longtime fans it’s a fun reminder of Waits’ ability to be a badass when necessary
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  8. 9.0 |   Rave Magazine

    One of the best albums of the year
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  9. 9.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Bad As Me begins on a train and ends in a bar on New Year’s Eve. I’ll gladly take that journey with Tom Waits every time
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  10. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Bad As Me sees the performer reaching back into his bag of tricks to pull out a few favourites in a characteristically exhilarating, terrifying, heartbreaking, tear jerking, bone-rattling style
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  11. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    It's Waits' best album since Rain Dogs, and may possibly be even better than that
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  12. 9.0 |   Blurt

    Co-written and produced by his missus Kathleen Brennan, Waits' songs - Bad as Me included - find their center immediately and stick like a record's skip
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  13. 9.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    [Brings] together the oddball sideman and the sappy balladeer over a pile of songs that seem so effortless that they couldn’t possibly have come from anyone else
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  14. 9.0 |   music OMH

    Tom Waits has nothing left to prove. The fact that he can produce an album like Bad As Me, with more energy, invention and sheer excitement that artists half his age stands as testimony that Tom Waits remains one of the true giants of music
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  15. 8.8 |   Beats Per Minute

    Unlike so many elder statesmen who reach a point of clear decline, Waits has seemingly yet to come anywhere near that point
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  16. 8.5 |   FasterLouder

    Bad As Me grabs you by the lapel, pulls you down into the gutter and rolls around with you, leaving you wanting more
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  17. 8.5 |   Uncut

    Bad As Me is the sound of a supremely confident artist convening a raucous celebration of his own myth, and is multifariously marvellous
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  18. 8.5 |   The Quietus

    A nimble, playful little album that ranks among his very best. A truly timeless artist, still at the peak of his powers
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  19. 8.5 |   Prefix

    Throughout it all, it still feels like essential, singular Waits, like moody and manic are two sides of one very marked coin
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  20. 8.3 |   Paste Magazine

    As good as anything Waits has ever done
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  21. 8.1 |   Pitchfork

    These tracks are concise and expertly edited, and Bad as Me feels as new as it does ancient
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  22. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    It's great to see him in such boastful, ebullient form, even if the album's structure hews to a familiar city-mouse/country-mouse dialectic, staggered between his usual stable of "brawlers" and "bawlers"
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  23. 8.0 |   The Observer

    Bad As Me is, chiefly, an album full of compassion, anger and sorrow...Its 13 tracks fairly rip along, alerting a new generation that there are few as fine as Waits
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  24. 8.0 |   The Fly

    Occasional light touches of chiming guitar-led jazz and balladry leaven the atmosphere, but those are mere interludes in a typically destructive work
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  25. 8.0 |   BBC

    Mostly finds Waits roaming his property, repainting the fence instead of jumping over it into the next uncharted field. But while this isn’t a great album it’s still a very good one
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  26. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Demented New Orleans and Depression-era blues, Elvis-type tearjerkers, accordion laments, rollicking Birthday Party punk and madcap T Rex distortions of rock'n'roll
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  27. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    There are some great moments
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  28. 8.0 |   Spin

    It feels like rocking fast and getting to the point never even occurred to Tom Waits before now
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  29. 8.0 |   Uncut

    The sound of a supremely confident artist convening a raucous celebration of his own myth, and is multifariously marvellous. Print edition only

  30. 8.0 |   Q

    As accessible as it is intelligent. At their heart, these are classic pop songs. Print edition only

  31. 8.0 |   Mojo

    There is enough on Bad As Me to suggest that Waits has reapplied a rigour to his songwriting not always apparent in recent years. Print edition only

  32. 8.0 |   State

    All in all, if you like Tom Waits, you’ll love Bad As Me
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  33. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Waits’ most accessible record in decades; essential not only to his hooked fanbase, but to the uninitiated masses
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  34. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Bad as Me is the man’s best work since Mule Variations, and yet another fantastic Tom Waits album
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  35. 8.0 |   The Scotsman

    Bad As Me unleashes a visceral world of sound
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  36. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    A bracing, defiant attack against things as usual. Its clash and clatter are combative, but in the end -- and here's what throws the suits off -- utterly beautiful
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  37. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    It doesn't get much better than this
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  38. 7.5 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    13 barroom stompers
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  39. 6.0 |   NME

    Has to rank as a disappointment, since their are no surprises to match Real Gone's sepulchral funk or Orphans' breathtaking sweep. Print edition only


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