Tom Waits' entire catalog with ANTI- Records, from 1999's Mule Variations through 2011's Bad As Me, are being reissued. Working alongside his wife and musical collaborator, Kathleen Brennan, Waits personally remastered each of the six releases.
A tender set of ballads, based on Lewis Carroll's muse for "Alice In Wonderland." "The grizzled modern persona of Tom Waits finds new life on Alice, a slow, grave record that explores physical and moral decay with the same harrowing insight of 1992's Bone Machine. Originally written as an opera with his longtime songwriting partner, playwright Kathleen Brennan, the songs on Alice were performed live in a Hamburg theater for 18 months in 1992 and 1993, but were never committed to tape (officially, at least).
"This studio recording retains a sense of narrative cohesion, giving Waits a set of tormented and bizarre characters that go well with the motley crew he's assembled over the years. It is, in fact, the most consistent record of Waits's career, offering not only a stable train of thought, but a musical approach that, while featuring the same vaudevillian touches that have characterized his work since Swordfishtrombones, finds a voice all its own. Without much percussion to back them up, violins, cellos, and horns dominate the record, bathing Waits's familiar growl in a sly, slow cacophony that sounds like an underwater fugue, the notes like rust on the strings. 'Watch Her Disappear,' with its sparse, sad pump organ, and the twisted torch song 'Reeperbahn' have the smoky café mystery of Edith Piaf by way of Leonard Cohen, recovered from the water-logged tapes in Cole Porter's long-lost dingy. It's a burst of dark, world-weary poetry for lonely Saturday nights, cloudy days on the beach, or long strolls through graveyards." —