Blood Money


Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. The bleakness at the core of Blood Money won't make it a first choice for a late-night spin, but it's manna for the artist's fans.
  2. If the young, brooding Waits had done this score it would have been too much--too miserable--but our older, wiser Waits possesses the perfect combination of cynicism and idealism to pull it off.
  3. While the rest of pop culture infantilizes itself with cussing puppets and manufactured bands who willfully dangle like marionettes, Waits is serving up vintage brittle fusion and somehow breaking the law of diminishing returns. [Review of both Alice and Blood Money]
  4. 90
    The effect of the combination of all these elements is stunning and profound, and ranks among Waits' finest albums, albeit his most depressing by a long shot.
  5. The album is saved from cliché and pretension by its combination of a fascinating story with restrained and consistently inventive musical backing.
  6. Entertainment Weekly
    You'd be hard-pressed to find sounds this spookily evocative anywhere outside the grooves of scratchy old 78s. [Applies to both 'Alice' and 'Blood Money,' 10 May 2002, p.80]
  7. Uncut
    Waits -- now in complete mastery of his unique art -- knows what he's doing, and the stark, unforgiving brutality is leavened, or granted grace, by passages of purple pathos. [Co-Album Of The Month, June 2002, p.106]
  8. Like waking up one morning to discover you suddenly like coffee, this is one of those albums that feels natural; the discord and the overwrought weepiness, the experimentalism and the simplicity -- everything works. It fits.
  9. Q Magazine
    A powerful and almost gleeful celebration of the horrors of the world. [May 2002, p.114]
  10. Thematically, this work -- with its references to German cabarets and nostalgia -- echoes Waits' other Wilson collaborative project, Black Rider. Musically, however, Blood Money is a far more elegant, stylish, and nuanced work than the earlier recording.
  11. Alternative Press
    Blood Money's biggest strength is its lyrics, which are rich with symbolism, and which withstand and reward deep analysis even outside the context of the music. [Jul 2002, p.96]
  12. Blender
    After decades, Waits's theater of musical cruelty is familiar stuff. But the old dog's tricks still have bite. [Applies to both Alice and Blood Money, Jun/Jul 2002, p.111]
  13. At times it almost seems like a conscious attempt to strip away the romantic veneer with which Alice covered its "closed-down cabaret," finding only insanity and sadness amongst the dust and bones.
  14. The Wire
    Disturbing and delirious when it's not romantic and hilarious, the songs have a much more direct emotional appeal than the patently surrealistic Alice. [#219, p.72]
  15. Mojo
    Blood Money makes for an extravagant headphone experience if you're in the right frame of mind. If not, its clatter and blare and nihilism will genuinely jangle your nerves. [Co-Album Of The Month (with 'Alice'), May 2002, p.94]
  16. Songs that shamble along in the gutter but can still bite your ankles if pushed.
  17. Blood Money should be heard as a complete piece of music -- like watching a play -- and some tracks that might appear thin on their own will be revealed as far meatier in context.
  18. A cacophonous, fearsome and shadowy delight.
  19. Blood Money is especially grim, a bitter suite about greed and moral bankruptcy.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. [Anonymous]
    Mar 10, 2008
    Misery's the river of the world.
  2. Hein
    May 4, 2006
  3. SendarkK
    Dec 31, 2005
    Outstanding! This album is a brilliantly written, brilliantly performed masterpiece.