Tom Waits: Mule Variations - A Masterpiece of Blues, Rock and Experimental Music
Mule Variations is the thirteenth studio album by American musician Tom Waits, released on April 16, 1999. It is widely regarded as one of his best and most diverse albums, featuring a blend of blues, rock, folk, gospel, and experimental sounds. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album and was nominated for Album of the Year.
The album contains 16 tracks, each with its own distinctive style and mood. Some of the highlights include:
\"Big in Japan\", a humorous and ironic song about fame and success, with a heavy bass line and horns.
\"Hold On\", a beautiful and poignant ballad about hope and resilience, with a soulful vocal performance by Waits.
\"Get Behind the Mule\", a gritty and groovy blues-rock song about hard work and perseverance, featuring harmonica by John Hammond.
\"What's He Building In There\", a creepy and mysterious spoken-word piece about a suspicious neighbor, with eerie sound effects and turntable scratches.
\"Chocolate Jesus\", a playful and irreverent song about religious devotion, with a catchy acoustic guitar riff and slide guitar by Smokey Hormel.
\"Come On Up to the House\", a uplifting and gospel-infused song about redemption and forgiveness, with a chorus of backing vocals and piano by Waits.
Mule Variations is a masterpiece of musical storytelling, showcasing Waits' unique voice, poetic lyrics, and eclectic influences. It is an album that can be enjoyed by fans of any genre, as it transcends boundaries and expectations. If you are looking for a rich and rewarding listening experience, you can download the full album zip file here:
Tom Waits - Mule Variations (Full Album) - YouTube[^1^]
Or you can stream it on Spotify here:
Mule Variations (Remastered) - Album by Tom Waits Spotify[^2^]
Mule Variations also showcases Waits' versatility as a vocalist, ranging from his trademark gravelly growl to his tender croon. He can sound menacing and playful, romantic and cynical, sincere and sarcastic, sometimes within the same song. He can also create memorable characters with his voice, such as the paranoid narrator of \"What's He Building In There\" or the freakish performer of \"Eyeball Kid\". Waits is a master of vocal expression, using his voice as an instrument to convey emotion and atmosphere.
The album has received critical acclaim from various sources, including Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and AllMusic. Pitchfork gave it a 9.5 out of 10 rating and praised Waits' musical storytelling, saying \"Mule Variations is a masterpiece of musical storytelling, showcasing Waits' unique voice, poetic lyrics, and eclectic influences.\"[^1^] Rolling Stone gave it four out of five stars and called it \"a garish, surreal fantasy\" that features \"a blend of blues, rock, folk, gospel, and experimental sounds.\"[^2^] AllMusic gave it four and a half out of five stars and described it as \"a rich musical experience that rewards repeated listenings.\"[^3^]
Mule Variations is a must-have album for any Tom Waits fan, as well as anyone who appreciates innovative and original music. It is an album that defies categorization and convention, and celebrates the power of creativity and imagination. It is an album that proves that Tom Waits is one of the greatest living performers of our time. ec8f644aee