Waits’ sixth album was his last non-soundtrack work before his reinvention on Swordfishtombones, but it’s already a shade less polished than his previous few outings. Standouts include the raw blues of the title track, later adopted by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and future Springsteen hit Jersey Girl. The ballads are particularly devastating - the lover’s reluctant abscondment on Ruby’s Arms and On the Nickel's lament for the destitute.
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7/10 Jack Customer review, 26th January 2018
This record plays like a darker take on "Small Change," where Waits switches back to first person rambles and scene-setting, giving up the lengthy narratives of "Foreign Affairs" and "Blue Valentine." Most of his harder songs sound the same, and most of his ballads feel out of place... but still, there are some good songs on here. "Jersey Girl" is absolutely incredible. "Heartattack and Vine" is the best heavy tune on here, with "Mr. Siegal" a close second. And, I'll admit it, I really like "Ruby's Arms".
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