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20 Watts Reviews Tom Waits’ Glitter & Doom by ambiguitron
November 24, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , ,

A live album highlighting the best of Waits' latest tour

PREVIEW: VISIT Tom Waits’ Website
WE GIVE IT: 15/20 Watts

Getting older and piling years onto his prolific career hasn’t worn Tom Waits in the least. In fact, age has had just the opposite effect on the veteran.

For a musician whose work is characterized by a signature blend of bizzaro-noire grittiness, aging has really just added a complimentary texture to the mix. On his latest effort, Glitter & Doom, time mingles perfectly with the polka rhythms, marimbas, bouncing horn lines that teeter like a drunken circus bear, and of course, the grizzled voice that isn’t going to get any less grizzlier any time soon.

This two-disk album of cuts from Waitsmost recent tour showcases all these fine qualities at work. And the performances are as kicking as they’ve ever been, covering a satisfactory spectrum of songs from all fans’ favorite Waits’-eras.  The album has the right variety of energy levels, from the opening death-march rock of “Lucinda / Ain’t Going Down to the Well,” to the morbid “Dirt in the Ground,” and of course, “Goin’ Out West,” Waits’ hard rock satire of masculinity.

Overall, Glitter & Doom will satisfy the fans, as well as reassure them that Waits, who’s built his musical career on making audio caricatures of gloom, is still as vital as can be.

— Dan Powell

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