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|1. Misery Is The River of the World|
|2. Everything Goes to Hell|
|3. Coney Island Baby|
|4. All The World Is Green|
|5. God's Away On Busines|
|6. Another Man's Vine|
|7. Knife Chase|
|9. Starving In The Belly Of A Whale|
|10. The Part You Throw Away|
|13. A Good Man Is Hard To Find|
Blood Money is up there with Waits's best albums from the mid-'80s, veering as it does from sexy insomniac circus music to gorgeously heart-tugging lullabies to woozy zigzag bluesy romps to what can only be described as Oscar the Grouch singing out of tune on top of the soundtrack to an old French film. Blood Money's 13 songs were cowritten by Tom Waits and longtime collaborator and wife Kathleen Brennan for a Robert Wilson production of Georg Büchner's unfinished, protomodernist 1837 play, Woyzeck, about a Kafkaesque German soldier who goes crazy after doing medical experiments for money and kills his girlfriend after witnessing a perceived infidelity. The album's worldview is, necessarily, bleak. The lyrics are hilariously misanthropic, occasionally hallucinatory, and ring with the truth of Tin Pan Alley clichés turned inside out. "Coney Island Baby," in particular, is a grand statement, with Waits delicately croaking the lines "She's a rose, she's the pearl / She's the spin on my world / All the stars make their wishes on her eyes." The album's manifesto, however, is to be found in the title tune, as Waits spits out the words "If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man / You can drive out nature with a pitch fork / But it always comes roaring back again." Released at the same time as the lyrical, lovely Alice, the ragged and rhythmic Blood Money marks the return of one of our most gifted meta-singer-songwriters to the top of his game. --Mike McGonigal
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Top Customer Reviews
I'll be honest: I could easily live without 'Coney Island Baby.' It's the ol' obligatory "sensitive side" song, but it feels kind of desultory. 'Jersey Girl' it ain't. 'All the World is Green' and 'The Part You Throw Away' do the trick quite nicely here in terms of more subdued songs.
But, of course, that's only half the fun; the more twisted material here rocks me senseless--when I first played the album and heard the opening of 'Misery's the River of the World,' I couldn't keep from grinning broadly--yeah, this, I could tell, was definitely the stuff. 'God's Away on Business' and 'Starving in the Belly of the Whale' are also excellent. Does he "mean" it? Who cares? Has he "meant" any of his personae? The point is, the songs are great, and he performs them with utter conviction. Would you rather it sound like a latterday Nick Cave album--ever-so-restrained, ever-so-tasteful, and ever-so-boring? I think not.
Sure, there are a few inessential tracks, but rare is the entirely consistent Waits album, and this is really as good as one could hope. Furthermore, some of the seemingly weak tracks grow on you--I was indifferent to it at first, but now I must say that 'Another Man's Vine' is one of the greatest things ever.
Let's face it: there is no single musician working today whose career has been as long, creative, and consistently thrilling than that of Waits. Let's just be thankful he's aged so well, eh?
This is music in its purest, most raw, and above all, most ENTERTAINING forms. No sniveling, money-grubbing producers manipulating from behind the scenes. No whiney "teen heart-throbs" wailing with "emotion" through a computer over a drum machine. No thirty-year old "punks rockers" singing about bodily functions. No retro "garage" [stuff]. No rappers. Nothing. Just brilliant poetry, and beautiful yet bizarre and almost unnerving songs.
How to describe it? It's a bit of everything I love Tom Waits for. It's got what I call "cluttered jazz" mixed with show tunes, ballads, and oompah mutant pirate music. It's weird, noisey, funny, and depressing all at once. The songs are often simple and somewhat repetetive, but still no one could pull them off the way Waits does.
I'd just like to add my thoughts on how unbelievably stupid you have to be to complain about Tom Waits' voice. He sounds "gruff", "out of tune", or "like Cookie Monster". I suppose you'd rather listen to "Starving in the Belly of a Whale" with Luciano Pavarotti at the helm? Puh-LEEEZE. Waits gets weirder with age, and compensates for that fact by writing weird music which his rugged and occasionally cartoonish voice complements PERFECTLY. Hopefully, Tom will continue to defy the complaints of these so-called fans who expect for him to write "Rain Dogs" over and over album after album.
In summary: a beautiful, catchy album. You buy now.
Most recent customer reviews
LAUGHING AT DESPAIR?THIS IS THE CD FOR YOU. SO INTENT IN ITS PESSIMISM IT'S HILARIOUS, AT LEAST TO THOSE WHOSE WORLDVIEW IS A HEALTHY COMBINATION OF FATALISM, CYNICISM AND BLACK... Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2003 by firstname.lastname@example.org
I was not too impressed with the Mule Variations cd when it came out, so I was surprised that Blood Money was soo good. Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2003 by Jonathan Royer
This release has not grown on me the way ALICE has. The music is Waits at his absolute weirdest, and that's saying something. Likely that's enough to attract legions of fans. Read morePublished on May 4 2003 by o dubhthaigh
This album is great! I laughed and laughed everytime that guy stuttered out another line. Sounded like he was trying to sing with a mouth full of marbles! Read morePublished on April 3 2003
This is my first Tom Waits CD that I ever listened to, although I was familiar with the man from his 'End of Violence' soundtrack entry 'Little Drop of Poisen'. Read morePublished on March 13 2003 by Benjamin Denes
I discovered Tom Waits back when I was in college, which I shudder to think is now twenty-five years ago. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2002 by email@example.com
chilling, soul tingling tales of love, lust, loss, and languish.
That haunting, smoky, philosophy spinning voice is one of the most savory products this strange universe has... Read more