User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 152 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 152

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  1. May 16, 2011
    I must confess I didn't know a lot about Tom Waits until I heard this. I know I have heard some of his songs covered by other artists, but I had never really listened to him specifically until this, and I was blown away by how good it was! He has a gruff growl, almost a side-of-the-road Delta blues voice. His lyrics are just amazing to read through, and how he uses his voice to tell the stories in his lyrics is just as fascinating. Disc 3, even for its strangeness, is great to listen to. I didn't like every song on the set, but there were few that I didn't like. Expand
  2. bjk
    Oct 3, 2011
    I love Tom Waits voice the same as I do John Lee Hooker, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. It's true that some people just won't get the appeal. So why bother listening and writing a review. If you don't get it, admit it and move on to your safe and predictable muzak. Waits is one of the most amazing American singer-songwriters ever. He is right up there with Hooker, Dylan and Young. This is one of his best but also highly recommend Alice and Blood Money from 2002. Art is meant to disturb. Those turned off by his voice, lyrics, sound, etc...should stick with American Idol. Don't expand your horizons. It's too difficult. Expand

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 32
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 32
  3. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Orphans is a major work that goes beyond the origins of the material and drags everything past and present with sound and texture into a present to be presented as something utterly new, beyond anything he has previously issued.
  2. This set stands alongside Waits's finest work.
  3. An outstanding musical creation... that nods to almost every known genre of American music, and some that have yet to be named.