Tom Waits: Alice (20th Anniversary Edition) (ANTI-) – review

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Alice (20th Anniversary Edition)

ANTI-

November 08, 2022
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It’s almost impossible to think of this album without also thinking of blood moneyalso released by ANTI- on the same day in 2002. After the 2017 reissue which marked the 15th anniversary of this album, this 20th anniversary edition (which is accompanied by a reissue of blood money as well as in various colors) on “metallic gold” vinyl is the first release of this classic Tom Waits opus as a double LP, but it should be noted that its contents only take up three sides, with the fourth and final side being a engraving.

You could say that at only 48 minutes, a three-sided double LP edition was unnecessary, but that would be missing the point. It sounds and looks great. Alicealso based on a much older play written by Waits and adapted by Robert Wilson (the same couple responsible for blood money) from the early 1990s, can be considered a moodier, sometimes more romantic, and perhaps even sadder cousin of blood moneyimplacable misery and pessimism.

Among the many highlights is the opening of the second side “Poor Edward”, a tribute to the titular Edward Mandake. Featuring several dozen musicians (including, notably, Stewart Copeland on “Table Top Joe”) and engineers with different composition on each track, it sounds remarkably cohesive and stands as one of Waits’ greatest works. (www.tomwaits.com)

Author’s note: 8.5/ten

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