Tom Waits is on another level than everybody else. His “weirdness” allows him to do things other artists can’t even try. Bad As Me features the same scrap-yard clang his last few albums have but is still every bit as original.
“Chicago” leads the album off on a high note which is typical for any Waits album. The brief 2:15 track is an urgent, building song that ends in Waits screaming “All Aboard!.” The album has several high-energy, jangly songs like “Get Lost” and “Bad As Me.” “Hell Broke Luce” blasts with Waits spewing out vaguely related one-liners to the army drum beats, hammering guitar and even sounds of machine guns.
Waits is also on top of his game in his balladry as well. Waits and songwriting partner and wife Kathleen Brennan craft pleasant soft moments to go with the brash songs on the record. The album has a higher dose of these than Wait’s last proper record Real Gone did. The standouts among these are “Face To The Highway” and “Kiss Me.” “Kiss Me” sounds as if it would fit perfectly on 1976’s Small Change. In the song he begs “Kiss me like a stranger once again…” as the song longs for the excitement that a relationship once had.
There is a deluxe edition that features 3 More Songs as it is titled and features exactly that. The best of which is another ballad “Tell Me.” As we found out on 2006’s Orphans release by Waits, the man doesn’t really have any throw away tracks.
Key Tracks: “Chicago” “Face To The Highway” “Kiss Me” “Hell Broke Luce”