Tom Waits - Heartattack And Vine - Review
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critics' view

On Heartattack and Vine, the patron saint of America’s hobo hipsters returns to the sentimental ballad style he abandoned for jazzier, less song-oriented turf after The Heart of Saturday Night. Though Tom Waits’ new album sports its share of slinky blues vamps, it’s the tear-jerkers that really matter. Lyrically, “Jersey Girl” conjures up Bruce Springsteen’s world, then adds an arrangement that echoes the Drifters’ “Spanish Harlem.” But the tune’s eager romanticism becomes warped in the caldron of what’s left of Waits’ voice. In the six years since The Heart of Saturday Night, the artist’s vocals have deteriorated from gruff drawls into hoarse and sometimes ghastly gargles that make the very effort of drawing breath seem a life-and-death proposition.

read Stephen Holden's full review at Rolling Stone external-link.png

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