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More hard-boiled tales from Tom Waits, who manages to sing lines like "Everyone I know is either dead or in prison" in a raw, whiskey-soaked rasp that sounds both comical and deadly serious. Waits doesn't break any new creative ground here, but continues to refine his down-and-out ham-and-egger persona. It's booze and broads, sex and violence, laughs and heartbreak. This 1978 album opens with an astonishingly desperate version of "Somewhere" (from "West Side Story"), performed like Louie Armstrong with a migraine. From there it's the usual Waits mix of crackpot wordplay and the cocktail lounge jazz likes of "Romeo Is Bleeding." - Steve Appleford