Fuck. If you haven’t heard Tom Waits, you have options: Listen to Tom Waits or kill yourself. Hey, metalheads – want to hear an old man spew more wisdom than Motorhead’s Lemmy? Hey, ordinary people – want to feel like you’re in another country? Decades ago? In a bar, perhaps? Drunk out of your fucking mind? Yeah, man – seven years since the last album and old boy Tom Waits not only has it, but has it badder than ever. Be drunk, motherfuckers… be drunk out of your minds; there are enough instruments playing peek-a-boo here to satisfy your mommy, and Tom Fucking Waits charged with more energy than ever… so, go to papa – he even abandons that gravel-throated croaky delivery to croon a few songs in this set of yet another bunch of classics. Yeah, man – fuck the pretentious shit the Metallica boys are trying to pull off with Lou Reed – what we’ve got here is a man who knows it all – hell, Lemmy would do well to take a few tips from our man Tom Waits in 20-fucking-11. Did I say the new Machine Head was a contender for album of the year? What a fucking joke. Did I love the new Burzum for being all true and pure? It don’t get truer and purer than this, motherfucker; Tom Waits is the baap of everyone I’ve lent an ear to, and I want to give him my heart, but it’s my soul he’s after, and he’s grabbed it and he’s kept it right next to the piano that’s been drinking. And where the fuck am I, man? I’m in the tavern one minute with all those instruments blaring pompously in my face, and the next minute I’m outside the fucking bar on the pavement wondering where I went wrong in life. And a beggar is looking at me, and a rich man walked by, and the heartbroken boy’s still in the bar, and they’re all clueless as I.
RATING: ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2011