by Tom WaitsTom Waits


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Death metallers and gangsta rappers might claim to have the right stuff to chill a listener, but when he's at the top of his game, nobody can bring the shivers like Tom Waits -- and on this 15-song collection, he's at the top of his game. The songs on Alice were written by Waits and longtime collaborator Kathleen Brennan for an avant-garde opera based loosely on Lewis Carroll's obsession with Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, and staged in 1992 in Hamburg, Germany. The album wasn't recorded until 2001, but given when the songs were written, it's not surprising that many of them carry the eerie, clangorous tenor that pervaded Waits's recordings of the era, namely '92's Bone Machine. As ever, his character studies -- of folks who have been around the block so many times, they can't help but slump over in a dingy corner -- are absolutely masterful, particularly "Poor Edward" and the title track. Waits's craggy wheeze of a voice carries palpable pain on neo-Gallic pieces like "No One Knows I'm Gone" and the mournful "Watch Her Disappear," which, with its spare, harmonium-driven melody line, paints a stark picture of life on the wrong side of society's safety net. There's an undeniable beauty to the music on Alice -- dominated by cellos and subtly shaded horns, the disc could almost pass for a '30s period piece. But with Waits shaping the content, it's impossible to pin Alice down -- catch her outline out of the corner of your eye.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/07/2002
Label: Anti
UPC: 0045778663224
catalogNumber: 86632
Rank: 8108

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tom Waits   Primary Artist,Piano,Violin,Glockenspiel,Vocals,Mellotron,chamberlain,Pump Organ,Foot Stomping
Stewart Copeland   Trap Kit
Matthew Brubeck   Bass,Cello
Larry Taylor   Bass,Electric Guitar
Myles Boisen   Banjo
Kathleen Brennan   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion
Bent Clausen   Piano,Swiss Hand Bells
Joe Gore   Electric Guitar
Nick Phelps   Trumpet,French Horn
Gino Robair   Percussion,Drums
Carla Kihlstedt   Violin
Tim Allen   Scraper
Andrew Borger   Percussion,Drums,Frame Drum
Colin Stetson   Bass Clarinet,Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Eric Perney   Bass
Ara Anderson   Muted Trumpet

Technical Credits

Tom Waits   Producer
Kathleen Brennan   Producer
Oz Fritz   Engineer
Gerd Bessler   Engineer
Matt Mahurin   Concept
Heather Fremling   Contributor
Jeff Abarta   Art Direction
Jacquire King   Engineer
Jeff Sloan   Engineer
Richard Fisher   Studio Support

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