The deluxe edition of Bad as Me has 16 tracks and kicks off with the jaunty "Chicago", which rattles along like a box car, driven by on by sax, trombone, harmonica, and a certain Keith Richards on guitar. The organ on "Raised Right Men" is like a knife and lyrics like "You need the patience of a glacier, If you can wait that long" are wheezed out with urgency. Somehow, Mr. Waits elevates his voice on "Talking at the same time" to that of a female blues singer in a smokey basement nightclub. Guitar accompaniment on this track is David Hidalgo of Los Lobos.
"Go Get Lost" sounds like a late 1950's rock & roll... "Face to the Highway" is a slower number, featuring some terrific guitar and violin. And so "Bad as Me" continues on with one gem after another. No filler or weakness here. The title track is Waits at his crazy-rhyming rumba bumbling best.
For the uninitiated, this is a very accessible album (not always the case with Tom Waits) and definitely one of the best I have heard in 2011.
Five out of five.