Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Tom Waits: The Heart of a Saturday Night [Asylum, 1974]
Last time he was an urban romantic with a good eye who you would have figured for a Ferlinghetti fan if you'd thought about it. This time he begins to sound like a Ferlinghetti imitator, and while nostalgia for past bohemias sure beats nostalgia for past wars, it's still a drain and a drag. I mean, there might be more coverable songs here if maudlin melodies didn't merge with neon imagery in the spindrift dirge of the honky-tonk nicotine night. Dig? C+