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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Bone Machine

Tom Waits

1992

Wikipedia

Bone Machine

Rating

2.83

Votes

3179

Reviews

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3

Third Waits album of this gig, taking my total up to five. Might not be my favourite overall but on first blush contains his most eviscerating vocals. Sounds like he's singing half these songs after being shanked in the guts, his voice forcing its way through the blood rising in his throat. Pretty gruesome, and perfect for his grotesques, as is the lost and found instrumentation. He probably did stuff just as weird before this, but true to his reputation (with me) of getting better in his mid to late career, he's found a way to assemble his spare parts into a functioning vehicle rather than a rattling heap. Hence Bone Machine, not Heap of Bones.

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4

I remember seeing the album cover back in the 90's (definitely a memorable cover) but I never listened to this. Some wild stuff in here, lots of weird noises and fun (sometimes funny, though I can't tell if that's on purpose) singing and playing, and a lot of interesting things going on. Each track seems to stand on its own stylistically. I have heard other Tom Waits music (I love the album "Closing Time") and whenever I've seen him in a movie, if a scene includes him I always know it's going to be good. I don't know much about him, and I have a feeling I should. Glad I heard this.

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4

Waits starts off with the screeching and the junkyard percussion and you can’t imagine a whole album of this- but then he sings a love song of such exquisite beauty and tenderness it knocks your socks off. Nobody makes music like Tom Waits. A unique artist.

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4

When he's good he's great but when he is bad he is fucking terrible. This album has a lot more good than bad though.

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2

my dude needs a throat lozenge and some bed rest.

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1

This is my 3rd Tom waits album on this list and I have accepted by now that I will never understand it. I like a lot of music that can be dissonant, weird, borderline unprofessional, out of tune, not on beat, etc. But Tom Waits is always part mediocre folk and part garbage noises with this weird muppet sounding dude trying to sing over it, but failing because he misread the label and started swallowing chewing tobacco I can't

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5

Crazy album in all the right ways

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5

This album came as a surprise. I knew what I was getting into with Tom Waits, but it might’ve just came at the right time

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5

Delightfully weird and twisted

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5

A pedigree of Wait's sound!

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5

Fantastic. Excellent mix of Tom's classic 70s sound and his more experimental stuff

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5

Questo album mi ha totalmente spiazzato. Conoscevo Tom Waits come attore, sapevo che faceva pure il musicista e godeva di ottima fama e forse proprio per questo ho deciso di non ascoltarlo. L'avevo liquidato come l'ennesimo attore musicista. Gravissimo errore! Questo disco è fantastico, non c'ho altri aggettivi. Sicuramente fa capire bene la differenza tra realmente impegnativo e palloso. E' un disco impegnativo sì, ma ad ogni pezzo, se hai un minimo di aspirazioni artistiche, non puoi non rimanere a bocca aperta davanti al livello di libertà espressiva di Tom Waits. Ogni pezzo non mi arriva come una canzone ma come una sorta di diorama che descrive delle scene, scene incredibilmente precise e da cui è difficile non essere catturati nella loro stranezza romantica. Veramente questo album per me sta su un altro livello di genio artistico e penso che avrò bisogno di molti più ascolti di due per comprenderlo bene. Per me Tom Waits è veramente quello che Leonard Cohen vorrebbe farci credere di essere. Grandissima scoperta!

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5

the best!

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5

Hullu viikko! Ihan parhaita levyjä ja yks hirvee sonta. Mitäs tästä nyt sanois. Tää on mun lemppari Tom Waitsin tuotannosta. Yksi kaikkien aikojen lempi levyistä! Hullunkurinen, pelottava ja järjettömän väkevä. Minimalistisuudessaan jotenkin todella raaka ja anteeksiantamaton. Tää voitti kai Grammyn vaihtoehtomusa-genressä julkaisuvuonnaan. Ei toki turhaan. Todella hienosti nyrjähtänyt levy! Sillai just oikeella tavalla pois paikaltaan oleva nivel tjs. 5/5

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5

Tom Waits is nothing if not authentic, a veritable machine of authenticity right down to the bone. He lives, bleeds, drinks, sings, howls… and one day will die… authentically. Not necessarily pretty or polite. But bona fide. And I’ll take a real ‘sinner’ any day over an artificial ‘saint.’ Billy Joel was wrong, incidentally, about the sinners having much more fun. It’s not that they don’t sometimes experience pleasurable things (one of the reasons people self-medicate with alcohol and drugs is partly due to how good it feels, at least until it don’t no more), but the sinners that populate 'Bone Machine' (and every other Waits’ album I can think of) are more often than not wounded and suffering from life situations. Jesus tells my favorite story from his collection about two brothers, the younger of which could easily be counted among the many outcast, unclean characters Waits writes about. The older is morally perfect; except for his feeling of entitlement, as if he has earned and deserves his father’s blessing. The younger screws it all up, suffers the consequences of his actions, then becomes very self-aware and goes back home seeking forgiveness, of which his father, thankfully, is only too happy and eager to give. One of the many take-a-ways in this story is that those who pursue meritocracy in their relationship with the Creator and the Creator’s creation, sadly, may never know the joy of grace. Waits’ characters may be dissolute, but they are also in a perfect position to be the joyful, grateful recipients of grace. Would you rather be inside the house in Jesus’ story, a symbol of heaven, with all the other happy partying forgiven sinners, or outside by your own refusal because you feel as if you've earned an invitation while the rest of the losers have not? Furthermore, if you refuse to participate in heaven, standing outside, then where exactly do you find yourself? Another way to say this is to ask the question: are you giving more power to the sin that closes doors or the Father’s grace which opens them? Your free choice. I only bring the Bible into this because Waits does too. Like Dylan, his songs are infused with scripture. Real scripture, real people, real God, real songs. Very different from the Amy Grant ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ kind of religious songs (no disrespect intended to Grant, nor am I suggesting that she’s not authentic, too.) It’s just that I much more identify with Waits’ creations- drunks and whores and people contemplating homicide or suicide. Demons, too, perhaps the devil himself. (Good Lord, didn’t the hair on my arms stand straight up when Waits sings in ‘Black Wings’ that ‘… he has risen,’ but rather than the crucified One it’s the one doing the crucifying.) Tom concludes that chilling number with, ‘One look in his eye, everyone denies ever having met him,’ and then whispers that several times to fade out. Brr… Or, the hellish ‘In the Colosseum,’ where ‘we call ‘em as we see ‘em,’ or the ‘Murder in the Red Barn,’ that goes unprosecuted, or worse, unknown at all, or the deceptively playful ‘I Don’t Wanna Grow Up,’ also covered by the playful Ramones, except when Waits sings it is loses any seeming playful innocence of youth and sounds as if the youth is a victim of abuse. I happen to find the crazy, clunky music and Waits’ gravely, booze and cigarette vocals rather enjoyable; but, then I also like that kind of stuff. I’m sure a lot more probably will argue that he makes Joe Cocker, by comparison, sound like Tony Bennett, but that’s ok. Music is pretty subjective to begin with, to a certain extent. You like what you like. I like anchovies and green olives on my pizza, so there. Waits can play a gorgeously melancholy piano, keys soaked in booze, and then turn around and strum a filthy, dirty guitar that probably sends forth a plume of dust when it’s set to rest in its case. Wonderful pedal steel from David Williams to accompany those piano songs. And wherever Keith Richards pops in (on the final song, written by Waits for him) can Waddy Wachtel be far behind? Les Claypool and Brain, from Primus, ‘nuff said. David Hildalgo from Los Lobos coaxes a coyote out of the violin on ‘Whistle Down the Wind.’ But the predominate sounds on this intrepid LP are all the percussion, many of which Waits plays, and I’m not talking about just drums, but an interesting variety of other things, including one Waits invented himself that he names the ‘conundrum,’ a metal instrument ‘with a lot of things hanging off it that I’ve found- metal objects- and I like playing it with a hammer.’ That said, the real draw on 'Bone Machine' is not the music, but the lyrics. And I’m not about to begin quoting them all. I simply can’t. There’s too much. He creates little worlds within each and every song, mini-novels. I know of almost no other artist who does this as/so well, save Bob Dylan. It’s an outstanding gift- God blessed, not earned- despite the pitiable inability, perhaps unwillingness, of the so-called morally upr(t)ight to look beyond his red-rimmed eyes and down into the man’s heart. By the by, that story I referenced before, from Jesus’ discography, was told as a direct cause of the religious professionals in his day grumbling about his keeping company with the kinds of folks Waits witnesses in his songs. Waits’ criminals and outcasts are treated by Jesus as friends. The religious professionals have rendered themselves criminals and outcasts to God, and not by God’s choice, but by their choice. While googling the lyrics to assist with my listening to 'Bone Machine' I ran across this little anecdote from a fan: ‘I saw this homeless guy singing a couple of summers ago. I told him he sounded just like Tom Waits. He said, ‘That’s because I am!’ I couldn’t argue with him about that.’ You can argue with me about the merits of this LP, but not it’s grace. You just can’t. You really can’t. Please don’t even try, for Jesus’ sake.

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5

Love Tom waits, not my favorite album but definitely a solid album

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5

5.0 - Another masterpiece, this time drawing cues from the American songbook. There are blues dirges like “Jesus Gonna Be Here” and vaudeville-style ballads like “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.” Themes of sin, life, death and redemption. This one demands repeated listens and I’ll be happy to oblige.

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5

Waits has carved out quite the niche, playing rackety, gothic shaggy dog tales from the demimonde on a bunch of instruments that feel like they're on the verge of falling apart. And I love it!

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5

This is another 5 star-er for me. I like the world Tom Waits comes up with. His albums are one of a kind. And this one is a favorite. Goin' Out West is an all-time great song.

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5

This is the third appearance so far by Tom Waits in this project (we're about 25% through). This isn't an album I've listened to before and the first time through, I wondered why this one? He's got so many albums, why choose this one over any others? And what's it adding that the other included albums haven't already given us? It wasn't clear to me at first what made this one different. After two more times through the record, the answers to those questions didn't matter. There's room in my heart for as much Tom Waits as you want to give me.

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5

The sound of the tracks on this album are what first come to mind when someone mentions Tom Waits. I enjoyed listening to the album on my walk today and I am happy that I am getting more exposure to Tom Waits through this project.

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4

Definitely an acquired taste, but I listened twice and was pretty into it.

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4

The first words to pop into my head were "voodoo blues". A bunch of my favorite artists love Waits, so naturally I enjoyed this. Waits sounds like a man possessed or heavily intoxicated. Very apocalyptic. Favorite tracks: "Jesus Gonna Be Here", "Goin' Out West", "Murder In the Red Barn"

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4

There has never been a more apt album title. The music is indeed stripped down to its bones. Tom sings his existential angst over percussion that sounds like it's just Tom Waits banging on shit with whatever he can find (because it is). It's all so very Tom Waits, and so very 90s (check out that album cover, complete with font that looks like a cross between the espn2 logo and anything produced by Tim Burton), and it works. Best track: That Feel

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4

It did have something creative and it could be something that I would explore more in the future. But most of this album is not for me.

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4

Bringing back the memories on this one

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4

- Was surprised by this album, I know Tom Waits' voice can be pretty hit or miss for me, but largely connected with me all album. I liked the instrumentation all over, from the weird percussion to the sax parts - I didn't know that "I Don't Want To Grow Up" was a Tom Waits song. I think I had only heard the version by the Ramones. - This came out the same year that Tom Waits was Renfield in "Bram Stoker's Dracula", hard not to imagine him just randomly eating flies during the recording of this album

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4

Tre bon album, je suis tomber sur un autre album de tom waits apres et je vois qu’il y en d’autres plus mons tyle. Quand meme ca vaut la peine. 4*

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4

Bastante raro. Pero creo que le voy a dar un 4.

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4

Like nothing I've heard before (only Electro-Shock Blues by Eels comes close, which I'd guess this influenced). A dark and demonic quality created by it being rhythm and percussion led, which is evocative of ungulate creatures. The latter parts of the album has more instrumentation with actual notes, which seems to imply a journey - I'm imagining someone arriving in hell and growing to accept their lot over time. I like this a lot. Dark but not depressing. Unique, evocative, interesting. 4.5/5

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4

demented, dark, growly and percussive. Sounds like it was recorded in a nuclear bunker 3 days after the last of the rations ran out. Not an easy listen by any stretch.

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4

Tom Waits is quirky, weird, and does not follow any rules. His music always feels good.

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4

This album is tight!

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4

This album sounds like a demon escaped from Hell and started a band with reanimated skeletons.

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4

Powerful songs with beautifully melancholic moments, as is the way of TW's music

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4

Una vibra muy fuerte de pantano encantado donde conviven la población whitetrash con las regiones gringas del vudú. Chido, sus toques darks me gustan. Favs: Such a scream, in the coliseum, going out west. Mood: The bible gone wrong

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4

Liebe Tom Waits, aber das ist schon sehr experimentell… deshalb keine 5

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4

Possessed, he vomits up the lyrics as an exorcism is banged out in the background.

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4

I don't wanna grow up

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4

Grew on me. At first it sounds like a rewrite of Rain Dogs by an old man past his peak (which to an extent is undeniably so) but there are some real gems: who are you is great. Jesus gonna be here (Blind boys of Alabama version) has been a favourite of mine for years without me knowing it was his song.. though their version is definitely better.

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4

A voice to crush rocks, but a poetic soul to reflect our humanity.

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4

The sounds of a nightmare. The songs here have been stripped down to their bare bones leaving only gristle left. You'll either love or hate this. I personally love it. Best Tracks: Goin' Out West; Murder in the Red Barn; I Don't Want to Grow Up

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4

I bought this when it came out in 1992 - a very strange but compelling album which rewards multiple plays.

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4

Not my favourite Waites album, but one I enjoyed nonetheless.

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4

Definitivamente no es el tipo de música que escucho ni que suele gustarme, pero "Such a Scream", "All Stripped Down" e " In The Colosseum" me parecieron muy buenas (!). "Goin' Out West" mi súper favorita, y mención de honor a "I Don't Wanna Grow Up", que va directo a mi playlist autobio!! "The Ocean Doesn't Want Me" es bastante rarita; siento que se parece a "Untitled" de Mylène Farmer (quizá se haya basado en esa canción, quién sabe...). También siento que hay momentos en que puedo reconocer algo de influencia de Johnny Lee Hooker en la música del álbum (?), especialmente en "Jesus Gonna Be Here". Muuuy buen álbum, le doy un 8.5/10, sólo porque no es mi estilo.

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4

not as good as some of the stuff from the 70s and 80s but still ... Tom Waits

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4

Every Tom Waits song reminds me of the Wire, but I dig his voice and moody tunes.

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4

surprisingly good album, from the title and cover I was expecting something more grungy like Dust by Screaming Trees but I actually really liked this nice acoustic, bluesy kind of album 8/10

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4

Not bad, Never knew he was so unique. Serious gravel and alot of 'Experience' in both that voice and those lyrics.

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4

Very good

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4

Really strong songs, and I like industrial junk Tom so much better than crooner tom.

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4

I feel like I shouldn't like Tom Waits as much as I do. Dude's weird. But I dig it. This is an all-around very cool album. Lots of dark references to death in the middle of some really catchy but odd music. Favorite tracks: Earth Died Screaming, Dirt in the Ground, Such a Scream, All Stripped Down, Who Are You, Going West, I Don't Wanna Grow Up (I also like the well known cover by the Ramones - also check out the cover by Priscilla Ahn - thanks YouTube for that suggestion!). Too weird to call a 5, but definitely a solid 4.

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4

The first time I heard I don't Wanna Grow up, loved that track then I saw the video and was sold. Tom Waits may not have that conventional voice but he is the guy who makes every weird note just a little more awesome, every word, and oddity is his own thing. I don't have anyone to really compare him to...but awesome album.

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4

My favourite Waits album, bar none!

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4

I love Tom Waits and this is a great album. This one is delightfully grim. I would also say that I know there are at least three other albums of his that I prefer, that this one felt a little long, and that I had more trouble finding a song I really connected to. But those are nitpicks.

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4

Digerible, y muy bueno hablando en escalas de Tom Waits

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3

I have to be in a certain mood for Tom Waits. This album is good, but not great, in my opinion. I like quite a few of the songs, but it seems really disjointed. But definitely a 3.5 star more than a 3.

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3

Rugged album

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3

ja best vet, super rauw en anders maar wel comfortabel om naar te luisteren. gekke gast wel 3/5

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3

There were some songs that I liked and others that were not it for me. In my eyes there are definitley a couple of good melodies and beats on this album. The way he was singing was sometimes destroying it a bit for me though.

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3

I'd give it more but it makes me want to cough the whole way through. Great songs, great lyrics, great atmosphere. Waits' voice is just a tad too much for me though.

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3

Production: 14/20 Songwriting: 13/20 Innovation: 16/20 Bangers: 5/20 Emotional response: 8/20 =56 Interesting and enjoyable Tom

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3

Not my stuff

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3

I find some of the songs more enjoyable than others. Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of gravelly voices, so it’s not my favorite, but it’s okay.

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3

6/10. I really wish I didn't dislike how Tom Wait sounds so much, because I like his songwriting. That said, this album sounds a lot more chaotic and unpleasant right off the bat than Heartattack and Vine was, and the songs are more all over the place. "Who Are You This Time", and "A Little Rain" are pretty good though. If there was anything that would justify how bad some of this sounds it would be the lyric "In the colosseum, we call 'em as we see 'em". Honestly this is growing on me as I listen through it. "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" is nice too.

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3

Fucking odd but interesting

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3

I'm very open to Tom Waits, but this is not my favourite album

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3

Pretty much what you'd expect from Tom Waits. Intense singing, quirky instrumentation. Not pleasant, but interesting.

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3

A voz de Tom é o ponto mais elevado da sua música, uma voz cansada e pesada que cria uma ambientação melancólica Nem tudo me agrada neste álbum mas a voz carismática do compositor não me permite dar uma nota inferior a 6. Nota:6/10

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3

I'm still new to Tom Waits, and I'm not sure if I should like him more than I do. This album is getting 3 stars because of rounding - and an assumption that the album might grow on me a little after a second listen.

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3

I can respect it, but most of it just isn't for me.

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3

So far Tom Waits has accounted for 3% of the albums generated in this here group we’re in. Now I’m not saying he doesn’t warrant it - manifestly he’s a singular, extraordinary, influential voice in storytelling songs - it’s just *interesting* is all. Now: to the album. I enjoyed it. There’s more creativity and exploration in any single track than most artists manage in their whole careers. Here is an artist who gambles on weirdness like a man at the tracks where all the horses are called Weirdness. And it works: it’s inviting, obtuse, odd; the voices Waits conjures here are fantastic - a few featuring a high-pitched departure from his usual concrete-mixer grind. But (isn’t there always a but?) I didn’t feel this had enough to delineate it from Waits’ usual offerings to truly stand out. Perhaps if I’d heard this before Rain Dogs, or Swordfishtrombones I’d be talking about it differently. To me this just sounds like a fine Tom Waits album, rather than one of the 3% of albums that I absolutely must listen to before I die (or else!!!!).

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3

A slightly darker and huskier Tom than I’d choose to spend time with. Though the ‘back 9’ is an absolute joy.

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3

I love Tom Waits but this one is honestly a very middle of the road album for him. still, about half the album slaps so I suppose you could do worse.

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3

When it hit it was kinda good. Too much boring stuff tho.

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3

You know, Tom Waits. It's cool if I'm in the mood, but sometimes I like his earlier stuff better.

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3

Molto difficile da valutare perché non si capisce bene se siamo davanti a un'opera con profondità o no, a tratti sembra come se musicalmente non ci sia molta sostanza però in altri momenti ho la sensazione opposta. La sua voce è un pò la gioia e la condanna di questo disco perché accentra l'attenzione, il tono è efficace e complesso, ma di conseguenza confonde enormemente l'ascolto che fa fatica a concentrarsi sulla parte musicale che sembra nascondere cose interessanti. Alla lunga la teatralità mi stanca però mi l'espressività del disco non mi sembra finta.

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3

In generale ho trovato quest'album molto interessante, a tratti dissonante, imperfetto, sperimentale, e Tom Waits un artista e interprete geniale, a cui piace giocare con la sua voce (e la sua tosse). È stata un'esperienza talmente ricca che a un certo punto è diventata pesante. Ho provato ad ascoltare l'album una seconda volta, ma ho abbandonato perché stremato. Il discorso è che, per me, prese singolarmente le tracce sono molto interessanti, ma messe tutte insieme trasformano l'album in qualcosa di troppo difficile da ascoltare. Dopo le prime due tracce, ero partito con un "minimo 4", ma a malincuore scendo a un voto più basso per via dell'ascolto indigesto. Forse me ne pentirò, forse avrei avuto bisogno di più tempo. Voto 3

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3

I like Tom Waits. I definitely have to be in a certain mood to listen to him, and I don't often find myself in that type of mood. I appreciate his unique sound and voice.

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3

Good but lacking in variety. A bit Tom Waits by numbers.

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3

Po meni ima Tomica boljih.

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3

Not my jam, I think. I didn’t not enjoy it, but it’s not something I’d miss if I never heard it again

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3

70 pack year smoker sings the blues

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3

I don't hate the idea of experimental music, I think it has an important space in the overall musical landscape, I also think it's unlistenable. The work that it inspires will be great, and with that in mind, it's not a 0-star album but I would never listen to this by choice

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3

Wel bijzonder maar niet geel luisterbaar

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3

champ

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3

Det kan noget. Voodoo-blues med rygerlunger

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3

Some good songs mixed with strange vocals but overall quite enjoyable. Favourite songs: - Jesus gonna be here - in the Colosseum - I don’t wanna grow up

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3

Bone Machine by Tom Waits (1992) Ya gotta love Tom Waits. With uninhibited, poetic lyrics surrounded by God knows what musical inspiration, each song is wonderfully discomfiting and attractive. There’s just enough rhythmic and melodic convention to keep it from falling over the edge—which seems to be just where Mr. Waits wants us. I, for one, am content to sit there with him and enjoy the auditory panorama. It is reported that when Waits was informed that he won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album for this record, he replied, “Alternative to what?” (Uh, pretty much everything, Tom). One wonders what kind of natural disaster caused the uniquely sour baritone timbre of Waits’ voice, but it’s worth celebrating. And his fascination with sticks (yes, sticks) on an album that is fixated on bones leaves the listener with an aural theme that’s unmistakable. If you only listen to one track on this album, try “The Ocean Doesn’t Want Me”, to get a sense what it must sound like for a guy who yearns for death by drowning, but who’s foiled by an uncooperative body of water—an excuse, of course, which is a mask for some other unexplained something that is, if nothing else, hideously humorous. Three cheers for the “strangels” and the “braingels” and the ocean which will all still be there tomorrow. “Goin’ Out West” is a must addition to your road trip playlist, especially in the ‘annoy the bejeezus out of the passengers’ mode. And special appreciation is due to Keith Richards for co-writing, guitar accompaniment, and backing vocals on the closing track, “That Feel”. He sounded old thirty years ago, and will likely sound old thirty years from now. Give this album a listen when you’re tired of everything else, or oftener if you please, and I hope you do. 3/5

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3

I think people will either think he is an absolute genius or he is complete garbage... So I expect a lot of 1 and 5-star ratings here. That being said, I'll give him 3 stars to contradict what I just said and comply with the craziness of this album...

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3

I'm a huge Tom Waits fan. I'm least familiar with this era of his (early 90s), so that probably factors in to me not loving this album as much as some of his others. His voice can be a bit much even for a seasoned listener and this album features some of the more trying aspects of his vocal stylings... I get why some people loooove this album, but I feel like he's done better versions of this style of his. I suppose that's only because I have the knowledge of his future albums, though. If I were taking this one in when it first came out, it woulda probably blown my damn mind.

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3

His voice takes some getting used to but I like it

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3

Tykkäsin kyllä enemmän Rain Dogsista kuin tästä, mutta en oikein osaa sanoa miksi. 3/5

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3

Sama kuin Rain Dogsiin, eli upeaa ja voimakasta, paikoin jopa hyytävän vahva tunnelma, mutta vähän liian outoa, että kuuntelisin useammin. 3.5/5.

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3

Hyvin onnistunu koherentti teema saundien, lyriikoiden ja levynkannen välillä. Mutta en kyllä voi sanoa että tykkäsin musasta muuten.

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3

Too strange for me.

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3

too much tom waitz.

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3

First time listening to a Tom Waits album, this is fun weird and wonderful album that makes me want to listen again.

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3

It's a Tom Waits album, what else can you say? You either like it or not. Well I guess I'm the exception that proves the rule because I kinda like but I'm not a fan. One TW album sounds pretty much like the rest. For me, in small doses I can find enjoyment. 3 🌟

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3

I don't know. I'm just not sure an artist like Tom Waits should get more than one entry on this list (if he gets any). But maybe this is it. I could not stand the opening track (The Earth Died Screaming) and it reinforced my belief that his work is just strange and his voice is awful. But I quickly found myself enjoying other songs - nice musical arrangements, lyrics I could actually hear (which I admit are fantastic), and vocal styling I could tolerate. Dirt in the Ground has a soft sad jazz feel made even more despairing by his lyrics. All Stripped Down feels like a Dr. John kind of song - cool funky sound, although In the Colosseum felt like a far inferior version of this. Who Are You This Time might be his most beautiful song on the album - plays like a sad country song. A Little Rain and Whistle Down the Wind are close seconds - similar feel but each with more piano and guitar secondary. Jesus Gonna Be Here is a strange blues song but it might be his best vocals. Goin Out West felt so familiar - it is his coolest, funkiest, and rockiest musical arrangement. Knowing the Ramones version of I Don't Wanna Grow Up, I was eager to respect the original - not bad. With how bad a start this album got off to, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I almost gave it a 4.

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3

There's something about Tom Waits that I still totally can't wrap my head around. His vocal range goes from anger to an almost Bruce Springsteen-like crooning. I imagined that when Springsteen got older he was going to sound a bit more like Tom Waits. I think my first impression of Waits was on Primus' "Tommy The Cat." The scat-like voice he used was just so... bizarre. (Makes sense since Claypool is on this album.) Listening to this album, he went from songs angry to almost Beefheart-like. "Who Are You This Time" and "Whistle Down The Wind" were both very haunting. I guess my point is I'm still not sure of his work, like Beefheart. It's something I may have to listen to numerous times. It's just so... odd. So I'm going to give it a 3. Hard to believe this is album #200. Really?

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3

I love 70s Tom Waits. Less enamoured with later stuff.

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3

I didn’t get to listen to the whole album but I liked what I heard. 3*

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2

Can't beat Closing Time

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2

Después de tres discos sigo sin agarrarle el pedo.

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2

Fuckin A, dude. 4

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2

Abandonado

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2

4/10

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2

tribal funk

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2

Wouldn't be surprised if he was thrown out of a bar in Kerry for singing this

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2

No one can argue about Waits lyrical chops, but his voice can sometimes leave something to be desired. This album is hell-bent on having him sing in a more aggressive and almost spoken word format that does little to welcome the listener in. Which is a dissappointment given his more sullen and quiet efforts throughout his career. Instead it sounds like a homeless man singing on the street.

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2

another one I've never heard of. I'm trying , but I would not buy it. Maybe 80 is to old to be listening to new stuff not!! I love new music and motown too. keep sending and I will keep listening

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2

Funky and primal

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2

I do not hate Tom Waits, but I do think he is overrated. There is some great stuff in here, overshadowed by how overly long the album is, and by the affected singing style Waits employs.

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2

Not for me but can see why it's on the list. Who Are You This Time nest track

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2

Waits ist immer zwischen Genie und Wahnsinn. In dem Fall eher Wahnsinn

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2

Bone Machine's sound is certainly well-crafted, but I just don't like it very much. There are times where I didn't mind the gravelly near-mumble of Waits—it certainly beats his country blues impression on Jesus Gonna Be Here, a title I'm surprised wasn't accompanied by "(feat. Dusty Rhodes)"—but those fleeting moments came when the album got out of its own way and shifted from its morbid focus. Goin' Out West's takedown of Hollywood and macho bullshit features the best music to be found here, and for as dark as the writing can be, the palpable bitterness of Who Are You hits the heaviest ("are you pretending to love / well, I hear it pays well"). Everything else runs too long and treads waters too similar (oh boy, more songs about death where the drums are recorded from the next room over), ending up sounding like the long-lost soundtrack to some animated film that'd sell a lot of shirts at your local mall's Hot Topic. Key Tracks: Who Are You, Goin' Out West

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2

I appreciate how weird it is, but it’s not very pleasant to listen to.

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2

Mostly not very enjoyable to listen to. Spotify recommends a “dark, theatrical cabaret music” playlist alongside the album, and that is an apt description. Funny enough I didn’t notice that the album is almost an hour long. In the Colosseum and Goin’ Out West (the only song I already knew) were the stand out tracks.

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2

Ehhhhh

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2

We've been through that already: Tom Waits works at a different wavelength to mine.

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2

First Listen. I have heard of Tom Waits before and may have heard a song or two of his, but basically, I am new to his sound. It is interesting. I think I like it. It is hard to listen to. Back in the 80's there was a song by Robbie Roberton called, "Somewhere down the crazy River" that I love. I think Robbie was channeling Tom Waits sound in that song. Because of that, It gives me great hope that I will come to love Tom Waits over time. That being said, as a first listen to this one, I'm giving it a 2/5. I am sure this will go up after I am more familiar with it.

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2

Didn't love it. Too grating.

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I’ve never watched The Walking Dead. Shocker I know. So I don’t know where the zombies live. In my head they live underground, kind of like trolls. If there were a club for the zombies in this underground world I imagine, I also imagine it looks like a club I went to in the French Quarter one time. The Dungeon was a place that did not open until midnight. All the walls were covered in bones…fake ones…I’m pretty sure. To get to the bathroom, you had to go through a hidden bookcase (?) door that led to a geometrically awkward hallway. There were also stairs up to a sitting area that was a half a floor up. However, there was also a ladder built in to the side of the bone wall the stairs were on so you could climb the ladder or take the stairs. Trust me it sounds even weirder to me as I unpack this memory. Anyway, this album sounds like the house band for The Dungeon if it were a club in my underground zombie world. Tom Waits’s voice is haunting as is the music. Tom Waits sounds like he’s already dead and his voice reminds me of the last 20 years of Bob Dylan. It’s like decades on the road, partying hard is bad for your voice. Tom Waits’s voice is terrible, but strangely it works at times here. There are nuggets of interest. I like Earth Died Screaming and Jesus Gonna Be Here. I appreciate the unique percussion used throughout. However, a lot of the album is borderline unbearable.

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2

I can’t take Tom Waits in any more that very small doses, a whole album is too much.

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2

"The Earth Died Screaming" - yeah, it did, Tom. Because you started singing. "Bone Machine" is at its best when the vibe is spooky, and the restrained percussion surrounds you subtly. It still doesn't make it my cup of tea, or what I would listen to for funsies, but to each their own? My college roommate, Frank, loved Tom Waits. And heavy metal. I never understood it. Still don't. Personally. But it totally fit Frank, a big guy who can be equally cuddly teddy bear and slightly frightening brooding darkness. Waits' voice is cool for specific purposes. I can see it being used to set the tone in some kind of dark, macabre show or movie. In fact, his songs have apparently been used in 29 movies or TV shows. "Peaky Blinders" and "12 Monkeys" make sense. Multiple times in "Gilmore Girls" was a surprise though.

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2

I feel like my favorite team just got bageled at the Superbowl. Tom Waits is better experienced in person in a small venue preferably a dark dive bar in east Los Angeles in the 90s... It's really hard to translate the persona of Tom Waits anywhere else. Hopefully things will come full circle, but the digital age has no use for a lounge-y spoken word performer.

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2

Really enjoyed the instrumental musical elements of this - and has huge potential. But his voice just ruined every song for me.

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2

Iskreno sam se iznenadio koliko mi zapravo nije sjeo ovaj album. Volim ga, odličan mi je, i s obzirom da ovaj album ljudi stavljaju većinom u top 3, očekivao sam da će i meni biti tako, ali et, nije kliknulo, nažalost.

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Merkwürdig abstrakter Gospel. Wirklich meistens nicht schön. Bezeuge die Intention und Intensität; Gefallen leider gen Zero. Fun fact: fand irgendwie immer Frauen sexy, die dieses Raubein verehrten - for the night, for the dram, for the fuck. 1.7

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2

Poetisk, minimalistisk, alternativt, blues

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This dude's weird. How did he know there was a market for this? Reminds me of Leonard Cohen. I admit, this album seems like a joke. I am sure there is something punk going on here. I just don't get the progressive element. I get the examination of death and the stripped down nature of the album as a motif for sure.

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2

I don't really get the appeal of albums like this in general and Tom Waits in particular. It wasn't purely awful but it was not good at all. Can't imagine listening to this again.

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2

Rock. Extraño. Deprimente

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2

yea, like discussed, its too weird for me

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2

Did not love this. Some of the songs were really good, like "Who Are You This Time." But for an entire album it was sort of a tough listen.

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2

Not for me ..

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The music: 🪨🦴🐵 The atmosphere: ☠🌑🗻 The lyrics: ⭐🌟✨ The album as a whole: 😲😴😴😴😴😴😴😴😐😲😴😲😴😲😴😴 What a ride.

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2

I don’t love Tom Waits, mainly because if the voice. Definitely some cool songs, messages and attitude, but I find him hard to listen to.

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2

Didn’t enjoy it. Not a fan of the music comp and it’s hard to enjoy Wait’s voice at times

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The first song I did not enjoy. The second song was rough. The third song… rough. Oh boy… are there really 13 more songs to listen to? Fourth song: Nope. Fifth song: The best so far? But still quite rough…. Is “Jesus Gonna Be Here” an old blues song? Hmmmm… “Little Rain” is a bit better with its country tinge… OK… halfway there. Not enjoying this much. But maybe this is a turning point… “Going Out West” was a little… just a little… more appealing. But I’m still waiting for it to be over. Then six more songs that I did not enjoy… Am I having a bad day? After this completed, I went back to two earlier Tom Waits albums I enjoyed, swordfishtrombones and Rain Dogs. I still like them. I did not enjoy this album. I’ll give it extra 1/2 point because there is Tom Waits creativity, but I would only expect to return under duress.

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1

Te gimmicky, vond dit echt niks. Kon er niet doorheen komen.

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1

Not me

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Very rough, grumbly vocals - is it singing or spoken...who knows? My vocal cords hurt listening to this. Not sure if this is on purpose, but this music makes me viscerally uncomfortable. I want it to end. Some later songs are less discordant. Couldn't finish it.

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1

I think there’s art in here somewhere??

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A bit too weird

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1

Strange.

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1

Horrible. Skipped all throughout. Would give 0 stars if I could. Worst album yet. 1/10.

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Might be a little too 'experimental' for my tastes. Not a pleasant listening experience. 1/5.

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As the only person that seemed to like the prior album by him on this list, his voice when he got older makes this almost unlistenable.

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1

Bro.... I fuckin hated it.

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1

TW is iconic — can’t deny that. But I do not enjoy his music.

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1

not 4 me lmao

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Tom Waits' Bone Machine is something I would never consider putting on. Every track is too bleak, morbid, and Tom's grating voice makes for a very annoying listening experience. 1/5.

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1

Puh. Give me Helge Schneider anytime, aber das hier halte ich wirklich nicht gut aus.

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First album that I'm not looking forward to hearing. I'll give it a crack. Despite knowing precisely zero about this album or Tom Waits in general, it turns out that my apprehension was entirely justified. This is a falsetto cacophony of meritless free form jazz leading to bad blues. I'm pretty sure that for "Who are you this time" he was singing with his eyes closed because the music is just so damn moving. Can this pish end soon please?

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Nope.

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I respect Tom Waits but that doesn't mean I like his music. Very grating and absolutely not for me. I had to break this album up over a few days because I couldn't take more than a few songs at a time. Never going to listen to this again.

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To weird

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Mad as a box of frogs, and about as much fun

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No just no

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So very, very 90s. A man screeching over a drum.

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Strange, but an interesting listen.

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