I've had a fractious relationship with Tom Waits over the years.
I've never really fallen out of love with with him, but sometimes he's pushed it to the limits with his more avant garde wanderings.
Thankfully on 'Bad As Me' he's back to what he does best, and that's sing like a Broadway star who took a wrong turning and ended up on skid row with a bottle of bourbon and a handful of dreams to get him through the night.
Even if on 'Raised Right Men' he has steered far too close to Nick Caves 'Red Right Hand' I'll forgive him simply for getting some rockabilly swing going on in 'Get Lost'. It's as fine a track as he has ever put out.
Elsewhere there is a distinct feeling that he has come full circle and is now back to being the bar room troubadour that many of us know and prefer.
If you lost your way after his Asylum years, or started to struggle with the material post 'Swordfish Trombones' then this just might be the album that will entice you back.
It's been a while since Tom Waits has managed to hit as many of my buttons as 'Bad As Me' has, but with this I've finally got the proof that it was worth hanging in over the years keeping the flame alive.