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reviews /  editor album review
editor content by: editor
orphans: brawlers, bawlers & bastards tom waits
orphans: brawlers, bawlers & bastards
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Blame the parents.

From whisky-soaked 70s ballads through 1983ís Swordfishtrombones career-reboot, and the recent distorted wail of Real Gone, Tom Waits can lay claim to one of the most fecund artistic imaginations in America. Recognising the predilections some might have for one of his idioms above the others, heís divided this new 56-song set (including 30 new recordings) along stylistic lines.

Brawlers comprises the twisted roadhouse blues-rock thatís been turning up every so often, good and drunk, ever since Heartattack and Vine; Bawlers sets that Satchmo-meets-Ethel Merman voice to creak and splinter with misery; while Bastards sounds like an exorcism one minute and a blessing the next. Essential listening.

Chris Power 23 November 06 rating of 4 and 1/2
Orphans Box Set: Brawlers, Bawlers And Bastards by Tom Waits, released 20 November 06 on Anti.
Read members' comments related to this album.
Tom Waits' Orphans post 7
comment by tomwaitslibrary    Jan 3, 2007
Waits' best release since his move to Anti! Complete lyrics and more at the Tom Waits Library ->
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Tom Waits inspired music from denmark post 6
comment by michaelblicher    Dec 22, 2006

This is hopefully not spam. Its a kind invitation to all Waits fans to find new great music.
We just love Tom. If we lived closer to him we would ask him to join our band.
Happy Holidays
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I'm hooked post 5
comment by Applehobz    Dec 14, 2006
I bought some Tom Waits-albums in the past. And I absolutely loved Alice and Mule Variations. The new triple album got me completely hooked. It's been at least a year since one album(set) took so much of my listening time. My is now full of Tom Waits-songs. I really recommend this album to every one because it shows you three different sides of tom waits: the steamy blues-singer (first cd), the love-hungry ballad-man (second cd) and the Weird Waits (third cd).
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Dissapointing, okay as B-sides/fillers post 4
comment by El_Topo    Dec 13, 2006
I love Tom Waits stuff and couldnt wait for this massive 3 disk album. However after the last three outstanding albums - Alice, Blood Money and Real Gone I feel disapointed. This is nowhere near as good them and IMO sounds like all B-sides or record fillers. There are no gems on here which I guess is why he couldnt find these 'Orphans' a home. Frankly I don't understand the praise heaped on Orphans, I can only think its because it sounds more 'middle of the road' and mainstream. Take the anti war song, Road to Peace which although is catchy I'd rather he (and other singers) kept away from overt politics - he's too talented for that. Good album not great.
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a true corker post 3
comment by Mayorsincome    Dec 6, 2006
Hi mikescorpio.
I'm new to this collective stuff, but I couldn't resist a reply. I think 'Orphans' is the recording event of the year if not the decade.I am a dyed-in-the wool Tom Waits fan, but even by his own standards, this is a remarkable piece of work.With nearly 60 tracks, there's not a duff one on any of the three discs, not a track that I feel like skipping. It's taken me a couple of weeks to listen to it properly, but it is a wondrous thing.
Lots of people don't really 'get' Tom Waits or grumble about 'that voice'. I've never really found him difficult to 'get', it's just that he doesn't spoonfeed his audience; you have to make the effort. But if you do, the rewards are huge. I discovered him in the early 80s and have been hooked ever since.As for 'that voice': it is different; personally I think it's a marvellous instrument. He performs complex magic with it and I guess I can see how it might appear strange to some folks. Their loss I'm afraid.
My only query is: After a major triumph such as 'Orphans', where will the man go next? We can only wait and watch.
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a true corker post 2
comment by amir    Nov 30, 2006
Tom Waits. I'm not so sure on him to be honest. Never really got him.
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a true corker post 1
comment by papaver borealis    Nov 29, 2006
An album for all seasons. 3 cd's of pure Waits mania, manna from heaven for the confirmed fan of all his stuff, and a treasure trove for fans of old.

So good is this album, a friend of mine had recently sworn off everything prior to 'Swordfishtrombones', until he got his hands on this cd.

Highly recommended for the uninitiated, just dont be put off by that voice, otherwise you will miss a treat.
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