As an antidote to the sterility of modern pop, there’s nothing like plunging into Waits’ deliriously out-of-time jazzbo noir world. These two discs conjure visions of juke joints, opium dens, and after-hours clubs when the jam sessions turn surreal. What it all means is anyone’s guess (that’s some muse you’ve got there, Mr. Waits), but you’d be hard-pressed to find sounds this spookily evocative anywhere outside the grooves of scratchy old 78s. Both: B+
Posted May 10 2002 — 12:00 AM EDT
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