Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
Books
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide Album

Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones [Island, 1983]
Though it never seemed likely that Waits had the intellect or self-discipline his talent deserved, after a full decade of half-cocked color he's put it together. He'll never sing pretty, but finally that's an unmitigated advantage. Taking a cue from his country cousin Captain Beefheart, he's making the music as singular as the stories, from the amplified Delta blues of "Gin Soaked Boy" to Victor Feldman's strange percussion devices (try the brake drum on "16 Shells From a 30-6"). And at the same time he's finding the tawdry naturalistic details he craves in less overtly bizarre locales--Australia, suburbia, his own head. A-