This 1978 release is a real mixed bag that displays the contrasting extremes of Waits’ muse at the time. The album is bookended by a widescreen orchestral version of Bernstein’s standard Somewhere, and the smoky jazz guitar of the understated title track. In between there’s the tragicomic Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis and the raucous r’n’b of Whistlin' Past the Graveyard. Kentucky Avenue is the obligatory killer tearjerker.
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9/10 Jack Customer review, 26th January 2018
On first listen (as with many Waits records), Blue Valentine comes off as overly complicated, a mixture of various instruments and lyrics telling rather depressing stories, including the one about a prostitute begging a former lover for money, or the one about a crippled boy's dreams, or the one about a girl lost in the big city who gets taken advantage of. All of it told in that menacing growl, a voice that seems to demand that you NOT listen to these stories, that they are real and thus too disturbing for you.
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- Blue Valentine by Tom Waits
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