USA, 1999, singer-songwriter / blues rock
Whenever I start a Waits album and try to write some of my thoughts down, I find it difficult to say much because I feel like I lack perspective. When you five-star pretty much an entire discography, you realize you’re just a fanboy and therefore aren’t sure you have anything useful to say. Here Waits is gritty once again, but it’s like he’s a hobo singing in some dirty alleyway, singing through a metal can, using whatever he’s got within reach for percussion. (A connection to the bone machine?) This music sticks to me like hot summer, sticking to me like unshakable memory. Like most Waits albums, this one, too, is a cathartic experience, but unlike other Waits’ recordings thus far, this one is “surrural”, meaning the themes are about rural American life, but since they’re stories told by Waits, they going to be a bit surreal, aren’t they? Waits won a Folk Grammy for this one, having drawn heavily on blues field recordings as the main influence. Yeah, shows that the Grammys don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.