The music critic dictionary will now have to be rewritten
Bad as Me 5/5 Among music bores – all of whom are obsessed with Tom Waits – ‘Waitsian’ has become a chincaressing adjective to describe a certain form of clanking, borderline arhythmic horrorsoul, thickly iced with impenetrable grit-gargling vocals. On the evidence of ‘Bad as Me’, the music critic dictionary will now have to be rewritten. The album opens with a triumvirate of genuinely surprising songs. Lead track ‘Chicago’ is easily the most vibrant, upbeat number Waits has written in a long while, and is followed by the dynamic, almost yearning, toe-tapper that is ‘Raised Right Men’. ‘Everybody’s Talking’, meanwhile, is a vocal revelation, with Waits employing his sweetly feminine higher register. Later, the lascivious, full-on ‘Satisfied’, is built around a glam-rock riff, the accordion-assisted ‘Pay Me’ could be a lost Piaf classic and the downright jolly ‘Let’s Get Lost’ brings to mind a Waitsian remake of ‘Paradise, Hawaiian Style’ (which we’d pay good money to see).