There are too many tracks to do a play by play, so here are some thoughts I jotted as I listened:
It’s like corrupt bluegrass.
The first two tracks were good, but nothing really grabbed me.
Hold On is great. Should be sappy but he pulls it off.
No other singer I know who injects so much showmanship into his voice and music.
Really digging Cold Water. It sounds like something kids would sing in Sunday School.
I have complained about spoken word in a couple of reviews, but man do I like What’s He Building. Super creepy.
Obviously, Tom Waits is a lyrical gangsta, which makes this hard to compare to Winter Hymn. There is less improvisation musically, but that’s not to say that the album isn’t very rich in its own way.
Some songs drag the album down (I’m looking at you Black Market Baby & Eyeball Kid) but overall it’s a masterful, intriguing album.
As much as I’d love to move the Do May’s on, I gotta bow to the man.
Mule Variations stands.