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Tom Waits – Bad As Me : Review

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Tom Waits – Bad As Me : Review

Tom Waits has the kind of voice that might scare the hell out of you if you hear him shouting outside at 3 am under your window, but that’s just part of his towering talent and dark charm. Bad As Me (ANTI-Records) is more than an album; it’s an all-engrossing psychological event.

It’s often said that part of the power of certain artists be they dancers or painters is that they make it look easy. Not the case with Waits: His songs sound like good, healthy hard work. A vivid hybrid of jazz, blues, vaudeville, ragtime and Waits, his songwriting has a rough-and-tumble plainspoken genius a body can’t ignore which partially accounts for his devoted cult following.

The need to cut losses and hopefully grittily move forward seems to be at the heart of “Chicago.” The driving beat and harmonica doubling as a boarding train whistle with Waits as conductor underscores the theme of moving forward, forward and forward in full barbecued gravel vocal mode. When it comes to a song that defines what a woman wants and needs to really feel secure, “Raised Right Men” nails it and kills it with its brooding razor focus. No question, as Waits sings, “It takes a raised right man to make a happy hen,” even if you’re not the wife of a late-nineteent/ early twentieth-century American gangster.

Waits is a consummate communicator and the title track for “Bad As Me” conveys the gleeful joy of finding a romantic partner in crime. He’s far frmo immune to the charms of the less-than-savory here as evidenced by the line “No good, you say?/Well that’s good enough for me.” He goes for softer but no less intense on “Kiss Me,” about an aching for longtime love to feel new and unfamiliar again. The union of delicate strumming and jazz piano against Waits’ gristle-over-bone rasp is not to be missed.

Tom Waits - "Back In The Crowd"

Back In The Crowd chords guitar

C

If you don’t want these arms to hold you

C

If you don’t want these lips to kiss you

C

If you’ve found somebody new

       F           G

Put me back in the crowd

        F              G

Put the sun behind the clouds

                   C

Put me back in the crowd

 

          F        G

There’s a battle going on

            C            Am

Between the blue and the grey

    Dm           

And if you don’t want my love

              Bb        G

Don’t make me stay

 

[solo]

C////// F G F G C//

 

          F        G

There’s a battle going on

            C            Am

Between the blue and the grey

    Dm           

And if you don’t want my love

              Bb        G

Don’t make me stay

 

C

Take back your name

C

Take back these wings

C

Take my picture from the frame

           F           G

And put me back in the crowd

        F              G

Put the sun behind the cloud

                   C

Put me back in the crowd

 

       F           G

put me back in the crowd

        F              G

Put the sun behind the cloud

                   C

Put me back in the crowd

 

[outro]

C/ Db    C

   Oooh, ooh-hoo

 

Tom Waits - "Bad As Me"

Tom Waits - Kiss Me

Tom Waits – Kiss Me lyrics

You’re the head on the spear
You’re the nail on the cross
You’re the fly in my beer
You’re the key that got lost
You’re the letter from Jesus on the bathroom wall
You’re mother superior in only a bra
You’re the same kind of bad as me

I’m the hat on the bed
I’m the coffee instead
The fish or cut bait
I’m the detective up late
I’m the blood on the floor
The thunder and the roar
The boat that won’t sink
I just won’t sleep a wink
You’re the same kind of bad as me

No good you say
Well that’s good enough for me

You’re the wreath that caught fire
You’re the preach to the choir
You bite down on the sheet
But your teeth have been wired
You skid in the rain
You’re trying to shift
You’re grinding the gears
You’re trying to shift
And you’re the same kind of bad as me

 

Release dateOctober 21, 2011

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