TOM WAITS: Blood Money: CD

When I listen to Tom Waits albums, often find myself making up little movies in my head. For this one, my little cerebral cinema presents a melodrama about a gritty 1920s New York neighborhood, where there’re equal parts danger and beauty awaiting the unsuspecting. Of course by the end of the disc, all the characters in my cranial cinematic masterpiece have been eaten by giant pigeons with clown makeup on and the heroes have all checked into Betty Ford’s clinic some fifty or sixty years before it even exists, and I blame this wholly weird turn of events on the music itself. Fans of Bone Machine and similar albums will be glad to know that Waits is no less eclectic and psychotic on this latest effort, alternating vocally between gruff woofing, wheezy bar crooner and sometimes nearly achieving a “normal” quality to his woefully abused pipes. They will also be glad to know that this is a solid album, where the wild eclecticism accentuates rather than distracts the listener and draws him into worlds not often visited by the normal, or at least remotely sane. My next project is to rent a copy of City of Lost Children, turn the sound down and see how well this fits as a soundtrack. So recommended it ain’t funny.

 –jimmy (Anti/Epitaph)