• Record Label: Anti
  • Release Date: Nov 21, 2006
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 154 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 154

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  1. SB
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    As far as I'm concerned this is Tom's masterpiece. An absolutely astonishing work. The scope is massive and to say that he pulls it off is an understatement. I just don't get how people can rate this as 8/10 or whatever. This is the greatest album by anyone in decades.
  2. julianne
    Nov 20, 2006
    10
    amazing....scalding...something for every mood...an education.... eradication...rejuvenation..stupefication....
  3. EdgewaysS
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    It is good to have all the varrious things in one spot, and there is onely one Tom waits
  4. PROCK
    Nov 22, 2006
    10
    Even if you don't find a song or two to your liking, the breadth of this thing is enough for anyone (other than an out and out Waits-hater) to find an album's worth (15 or so) gems. There is also no denying that Brawlers is one of the best single discs that Tom has produced.
  5. DrAwesome
    Nov 30, 2006
    9
    A landmark work. Runs the gamut of emotions and conveys all of them well. Tom Waits is truly a musical genius to be reckoned with and should take is his place beside Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan in the triumvirate of the worlds greatest song writers.
  6. BrandonL
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    Will this man ever do a regular cross-country tour for the love of god?!!
  7. lujob
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    the jewel in the mine the teardrop that fires the sky i´m happy ... and for a long time
  8. KurtD
    Nov 20, 2006
    9
    mmmm... I like this a lot
  9. Matchman
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    An artist's artist. Always full of soul and only better with age.
  10. shelly
    Nov 20, 2006
    10
    tom waits is beautiful...so is this incredible album.
  11. AndrewCa
    Nov 22, 2006
    10
    He's just getting better and better! It's actually ridiculous.
  12. WaltS
    Nov 27, 2006
    10
    Tom Waits is a rarity in that he gets better as he gets older. He doesn't go out of style, because he was never actually in style, he's just always had a timeless quality about him. After 2004's "Real Gone", which was a slight decline in quality, I thought that maybe Tom had given us all of his best stuff. Then Orphans comes out, a collection that is consistently amazing Tom Waits is a rarity in that he gets better as he gets older. He doesn't go out of style, because he was never actually in style, he's just always had a timeless quality about him. After 2004's "Real Gone", which was a slight decline in quality, I thought that maybe Tom had given us all of his best stuff. Then Orphans comes out, a collection that is consistently amazing and among his best work. Tom is easily the coolest man alive. Expand
  13. drewt
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    tom waits is a hero. and if you don't like his voice, grow up and broaden your horizons. this is one of the best albums you'll ever hear.
  14. DevinB.
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    Brilliant album by a brilliant, prolific, profound artist. Tom Waits is a true original and a cornerstone of left-of-center american music. A complete creative entity of absolute genius.
  15. telephono
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    it's funny when total jokes think they can spot other total jokes... tommy's brilliant.
  16. umbertop
    Nov 20, 2006
    10
    Album of the year and Opus Magnum of Tom Waits
  17. DrewK
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    This is an incredible set, and in my opinion is better than anything he's put out in the past fifteen years.
  18. CraigM
    Nov 20, 2006
    9
    I like the album...but mostly I just wanted to say that, whether you like this album or not, I think we can all agree that tim e is a moron!
  19. TomFoolery
    Nov 22, 2006
    10
    Waits gives us yet another brilliant look into his crazy view of the world and it all just seems to make sense. However this time he does it times three! There are very few artists out there who could put out 54 wonderful songs all on one realease. While other artists fade away, Waits bruns bright and puts out some of the best music of his career. (For Tim E, this is suppose to be a Waits gives us yet another brilliant look into his crazy view of the world and it all just seems to make sense. However this time he does it times three! There are very few artists out there who could put out 54 wonderful songs all on one realease. While other artists fade away, Waits bruns bright and puts out some of the best music of his career. (For Tim E, this is suppose to be a review by people who have listend to new releases, if you hate Waits , you obviuosly didn't listen to all 3 discs of him. Go listen to tour K-Fed album and leave the reviews to real music fans) Expand
  20. Nighthawk
    Nov 22, 2006
    10
    Fantastic album. So many great cuts that come one right after the other it plays like a greatest hits album. But they're all new hits! Some of the highlights include 2:19, Lucinda, Road to Peace, Widow's Grove, Take Care of All My Children, Down There By the Train. Like any good Waits album, however, every song is a highlight. Glorious and plentiful!
  21. ChadM
    Nov 22, 2006
    10
    This was an expensive buy at $45.00 Canadian, but once I listened to it I realized that it was worth every penny. This collection covers every genre that Waits has ever done, it literally has music that any Waits fan will enjoy. I know many people like his early stuff and don't so much like his Black Rider, industrial stuff, and this will satisify you just fine. Just a perfect This was an expensive buy at $45.00 Canadian, but once I listened to it I realized that it was worth every penny. This collection covers every genre that Waits has ever done, it literally has music that any Waits fan will enjoy. I know many people like his early stuff and don't so much like his Black Rider, industrial stuff, and this will satisify you just fine. Just a perfect collection of tunes that suits any mood. Along with Dylan & Neil Young the guy is a true lyrical genius that has lasted decade after decade. As for the chucklehead that gave the album a 0 when it was apparent that he never even listened to it, why don't you rate Christina Aguilara and The Pussycat Dolls albums and stop hijacking pages that don't concern you. If you don't like an artist that's fine but don't use this website as a forum for your ignorance. This is designed for people who have an interest in a certain album and want to get other peoples opinions of it.....peoples opinions that have actually heard it and understand it!! Expand
  22. HeinV
    Nov 23, 2006
    10
    I agree with Alex S; again a masterpiece. Without a doubt the record of the year.
  23. danielw
    Nov 23, 2006
    10
    Remarkable. The only thing like it I can think of offhand is Basement Tapes. It is so tuned in to to many American genres that it ends up reinventing all of them.
  24. ZooTrain
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    This is a magnificent collection. To say that Tom Waits can't sing is silly. He has terrific range. However, it is something to get used to. He has done something few artists have done--fashioned his voice into a character, distinct and unique from song to song. Next to Dylan, Waits could possibly be America's greatest living songwriter.
  25. [Anonymous]
    Nov 29, 2006
    9
    Rodney Bingenheimer. I know that name was borrowed. Anyway, the real one I'd bet would disagree entirely with your silly comments.
  26. druw
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    This collection confirms what many of us have known for years, that Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan are the greatest living American songwriting team .The range and depth of these 3 discs is profound.Tom`s voice is an amazing ,incredibly versatile instrument.It is is like the great American novel told in song form.There are echoes of Steinbeck,Woody Gutherie,Flannery This collection confirms what many of us have known for years, that Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan are the greatest living American songwriting team .The range and depth of these 3 discs is profound.Tom`s voice is an amazing ,incredibly versatile instrument.It is is like the great American novel told in song form.There are echoes of Steinbeck,Woody Gutherie,Flannery O`Connor,Kerouac,Raymond Chandler,Harry Crews , Alan Lomax`s field recordings,and the Old Testament.A major achievement ,some of us will be marvelling over for years to come. Expand
  27. DittyDDT
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    Best album of the year. Tom Waits is an American Treasure, more creative than ANY of his contemporaries over time. Best Album of his life in his 50's.
  28. ChrisK
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    As vital as anything he has ever done. This three-disc set shows the boundless range of our greatest songwriter.
  29. AlexS
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    Best album of the year easily, and one of Waits' best.
  30. DZ
    Nov 21, 2006
    10
    After recording his first oeuvre Swordfishtrombones, an incomparable piece of art, he released Rain Dogs. Swordfishtrombones was an oeuvre, Rain Dogs a debacle of the highest merit. Tom Waits is a non-narrative storyteller, besides Frank's Wild Years--which possess more tone than it does narrative--most avant-garde musicians eventually evolve out of the garde, and are left with avant After recording his first oeuvre Swordfishtrombones, an incomparable piece of art, he released Rain Dogs. Swordfishtrombones was an oeuvre, Rain Dogs a debacle of the highest merit. Tom Waits is a non-narrative storyteller, besides Frank's Wild Years--which possess more tone than it does narrative--most avant-garde musicians eventually evolve out of the garde, and are left with avant (before in French; what used to be before). Tom Waits gains more garde. Orphans featuring Waits' 56 prominent pieces, 30 of which are current, is a magic suitcase. Set of tricks, illusions, and wonder; the whole album is an illusion. It is packaged as a storybook, from an auteur that is not an actual auteur. He is not an author. Waits' is an artist, who paints the most wondrous pieces. Orphans is divided into three dual layered discs, all of which are contained in paper covers. Featuring a 94-page booklet with lyrics and photos and tales. (Oh my) A Criterion Collection of CD's, it is marvelously packaged, with care. In the words of Bernard from The Squid & The Whale, Expand
  31. John
    Nov 22, 2006
    10
    Waits rocks out, sings ballads and rambles wise. I couldn't ask for anything more.
  32. JerryM
    Nov 24, 2006
    10
    Good
  33. HankS
    Nov 27, 2006
    10
    In a time where I am weary of most musical releases sounding the same. We get a breath of fresh air, or a gust of wind from the junkyard that tom waits is rummaging through to find his new sound. There is good reason Tom Waits is my favorite artist of all time, he refuses to keep things status quo. -Brillance on a CD BUY IT NOW, Dont delay, never needs winding, turns a sandwich into a banquet.
  34. Gregg
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    I'll keep it simple. Tom Waits is the coolest man on the planet. These songs show why. And it's not just the songwriting, but the subtle attidude and undermining of the norm that make him, well, brilliant.
  35. MikeN
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    I absolutely agree with the guy who said "He sounds like Springsteen having a seizure." For many of us that's what rock and roll is all about
  36. TheSnuggler
    Nov 29, 2006
    10
    Tom Waits Rocks. And he is a fox.
  37. LawrenceP
    Nov 29, 2006
    9
    Don't worry about my dog Rodney below, he's off the meds at this time and just simply needs attention.
  38. TheDudeVG
    Dec 20, 2007
    10
    Mark L., I believe you have a rather big cd collection of Britney Spears and Mariah Carey... I ain't going to explain the difference between them and the likes of Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, because I think everybody listens to what they like. About the album... If I could keep my breath for more then 3 hours I would... indescribable
  39. Matt
    Jan 31, 2007
    10
    Album of the year.
  40. j
    Feb 8, 2007
    9
    I just HAD to comment in reply to someone else's comment. Tom Waits, a Springsteen rip off??? Are you kidding me? Never talk about music again. You didn't even spell Springsteen correctly. Just stay away from anything related to music.
  41. James
    Mar 5, 2007
    10
    Absolutely brilliant.
  42. ChrisV.
    Jul 31, 2008
    10
    This album is truly a work of art. I pity those on here who don't get Mr. Waits but in a way I'm glad he divides opinion. He's almost a yardstick of musical taste. If you love him, you have it, If you don't, you don't!
  43. IanB.
    Oct 3, 2009
    10
    Quite easily my favorite artist of all time (or maybe Leonard Cohen ). No he does not have a very nice singing voice, but the emotion that he conveys in his songs is better and more important than a person who can hold a note. Though not his best album it is still amazing...fine Disk 3 is pretty difficult even for me, a Waits fanboy, to swallow but at the price it sells with the number of Quite easily my favorite artist of all time (or maybe Leonard Cohen ). No he does not have a very nice singing voice, but the emotion that he conveys in his songs is better and more important than a person who can hold a note. Though not his best album it is still amazing...fine Disk 3 is pretty difficult even for me, a Waits fanboy, to swallow but at the price it sells with the number of great songs on it Disk 1 and 2 more than make up for 3 (any why not get some weirder stuff as an added bonus?). It won't beat Blood Money or Rain Dogs or Mule Variations but it will beat pretty much everything else out there. Collapse
  44. TimothyA
    Sep 26, 2009
    9
    Life in all its raw woodbine broken doll glory.
  45. BasB
    Dec 13, 2006
    9
    I am really surprized he still is able to create a stunning album like this. It really moves me.
  46. janv
    Dec 2, 2006
    10
    This is the best album of the year! Waits at his best.
  47. ottoh
    Dec 3, 2006
    10
    brillant
  48. T.S.
    Dec 3, 2006
    10
    Nothing less than a Masterpiece. Where are the votes from Uncut and Q???
  49. JerryJ.
    Dec 6, 2007
    10
    Best release of 2006. By miles.
  50. AlbertP
    Feb 12, 2007
    10
    At first, listening to the three cds was a daunting task. I've since loaded the entire collection into my iTunes library and when a song comes up unexpectedley in a shuffle I realise that each of them is a masterpiece.
  51. Judy
    Feb 9, 2007
    10
    Tom Waits has created a 3-CD journey into his psyche. Over the past 10 years Mr. Waits has made some of the most consistent records around. His songwriting has been great, but I kept getting the feeling that I was listening to a parody of Tom Waits. It's hard to say what was missing, but whatever the hell it was, is pleasantly absent on Orphans. If you are a Waits lifer, you gotta Tom Waits has created a 3-CD journey into his psyche. Over the past 10 years Mr. Waits has made some of the most consistent records around. His songwriting has been great, but I kept getting the feeling that I was listening to a parody of Tom Waits. It's hard to say what was missing, but whatever the hell it was, is pleasantly absent on Orphans. If you are a Waits lifer, you gotta have this one. Expand
  52. PaulW
    Jul 28, 2007
    10
    What can we say? This is another incredible offering from one of the most prodigious, influential and talented songwriters to grace the latter half of the 20th or early 21st century.
  53. laceyc
    Dec 8, 2006
    10
    there's a record for every mood. songs that delve into every corner of the human heart and travel through almost every Amercian song form and era. Beautifiul, haunting, troubling, nightmarish, heartfelt...
  54. JimM
    Jan 22, 2007
    9
    Waits said that he wanted Orphans "to be like emptying our pockets on the table after an evening of gambling, burglary, and cow tipping" which makes his 1985 lyric "Seems that my pockets were filled up with gold" seem prophetic. This collection of odds, ends, and new songs is as powerful and important as anything he has done in the last 15 years. I gave it a 9 because Bastards isn't Waits said that he wanted Orphans "to be like emptying our pockets on the table after an evening of gambling, burglary, and cow tipping" which makes his 1985 lyric "Seems that my pockets were filled up with gold" seem prophetic. This collection of odds, ends, and new songs is as powerful and important as anything he has done in the last 15 years. I gave it a 9 because Bastards isn't as strong as the first two discs but it serves a purpose and its oddness is quarantined on its own disc so it doesn't hurt the magnificence of the other two discs. Expand
  55. mikab.
    Feb 10, 2007
    10
    awesome.
  56. BernatB
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    Awesome album
  57. SteveA
    Feb 12, 2007
    9
    Tom Waits, delivers again.....what an album!
  58. NoneofYourBuisiness
    Jun 2, 2007
    10
    This album is the pinnacle of great music. The album consists of songs Mr. Waits has covered, songs that were previously unreleased, and a couple of new ones. Orphans has changed my whole perspective on music, given that this was my first Tom Waits album. It's a 3 disc set separated by theme/mood. Disc 1, Brawlers, has a gruff core reminding you of early Johnny Cash, but wrapped with This album is the pinnacle of great music. The album consists of songs Mr. Waits has covered, songs that were previously unreleased, and a couple of new ones. Orphans has changed my whole perspective on music, given that this was my first Tom Waits album. It's a 3 disc set separated by theme/mood. Disc 1, Brawlers, has a gruff core reminding you of early Johnny Cash, but wrapped with the twisted trademark strangeness of Waits. Disc 2, Bawlers, is a set of moody (sometimes gushy) songs that have a country undertone; which, kind of ironically, has a cover of an early Johnny Cash song. Disc 3, Bastards, is albeit the hardest disc to get through, but is a masterpiece all the same. It consists of some parody songs that always somehow have an underlining meaning with a couple of spoken-word tracks one of which has Mr. Waits reading directly from the National Geographic. All-in-all Orphans' beautiful strangeness should draw and overwhelm anyone. Easily the best he's ever done. Expand
  59. KennethE.
    Sep 24, 2007
    10
    I'm a communist and i like this very much.
  60. Dirty
    Jan 11, 2008
    10
    Had always known of him, but this being my first of his albums - amazing. Sure the third lacks the quality of the first two, but the majority of artists in the charts today could not right more than one song of their own, and then play and sing them in away that is so unique and perfect for the lyrics. This guy is special when you get under the surface of that gravelly voice. In fact the Had always known of him, but this being my first of his albums - amazing. Sure the third lacks the quality of the first two, but the majority of artists in the charts today could not right more than one song of their own, and then play and sing them in away that is so unique and perfect for the lyrics. This guy is special when you get under the surface of that gravelly voice. In fact the voice is the cream on top. I hope those that rated an 0 can put it on again, sit down in the right mood one night ,with a top drop of red, and let go of their Pop ideals. Expand
  61. LynC.
    Jan 9, 2009
    9
    His songs often make my cry. I can't begin to understand why. There is no one like him.
  62. CoreyC
    Nov 30, 2006
    10
    Tom Waits is such a great artist. With as many songs that are on this album I have to say, not one of them disapoints me.
  63. SD
    Dec 1, 2006
    9
    I've waited a couple weeks after buying this to rate it just because there was so much to listen to and I always find that Waits albums deserve a few listens before I decide how much I like (vs love) them. This is a great collection. Not as strong as Alice or Mule Variations, in my opinion, but stronger than Real Gone. I appreciate the breadth of what he is doing here and like the I've waited a couple weeks after buying this to rate it just because there was so much to listen to and I always find that Waits albums deserve a few listens before I decide how much I like (vs love) them. This is a great collection. Not as strong as Alice or Mule Variations, in my opinion, but stronger than Real Gone. I appreciate the breadth of what he is doing here and like the fact that he has focussed on one dominant aspect of American musical tradition on each of the discs (with many overlaps and homages and intertwined themes). This is clearly a disc for the converted. If Waits hasn't won you over I doubt this will be the album to do it. My first thought when I listened to the first track of the first CD was mmm - tasty. Happily that thought has not gone away. Expand
  64. HarveyW
    Dec 10, 2006
    10
    The only truely great piece of music composed in the 2000s. Waits' sounds much more confident and sure of himself than he did on Real Gone while letting the listener know that he was having fun recording all these songs. Bravo!
  65. Lucas
    Dec 12, 2006
    10
    Uncut, Q, Mojo?? This deserves the highest score in the history of Metacritic. The music world would be nothing without Waits.
  66. Isaac!d
    Dec 15, 2006
    10
    this is the best album i have heard in a long time. honestly.hands down! i listen to all type of different genres on music all the time and this album is truly a masterpiece. dont believe me, look at the critic's score!
  67. JaredSS
    Dec 16, 2006
    10
    thank god for tom waits. this album, along with joanna newsom's, both make up for a rather somber, forgettable year in music however, this and newsom's are both masterpieces that transcend age to such a degree, that this may end up being a monumental year for music in its own way
  68. JoeBoss
    Dec 29, 2006
    10
    The most complete work form anyone in the past 10 years. The best and worst of Waits.
  69. DanD
    Dec 4, 2006
    10
    Get past the voice kids. I liked his voice right away but I can understand where people might have difficulty. Doesnt matter. He's a brilliant songwriter. A real artist. Stunning melodies. I cant tell you how many Tom Waits songs have moved me near to tears. But it's not shmaltzy, theres a darkness and worn raggedness to his music. Really intense stuff. Every new Tom Waits Get past the voice kids. I liked his voice right away but I can understand where people might have difficulty. Doesnt matter. He's a brilliant songwriter. A real artist. Stunning melodies. I cant tell you how many Tom Waits songs have moved me near to tears. But it's not shmaltzy, theres a darkness and worn raggedness to his music. Really intense stuff. Every new Tom Waits record has me dying of excitement for its release and with 56 new songs (only two of which I'd heard prior to purchasing) I'm a bit overwhelmed. You'll get used to his voice, pay attention to the songs and the vocals will follow. I think smooth vocals would only ruin this music. As David Byrne said, "The better a person is at singing, the harder it is to believe what they're saying." This doesnt sound like a compliment, but trust me, his voice shows a deep sincerity and I cant understand giving someone a weak review because you have trouble with a ragged voice. The songs are stunning. Expand
  70. BingenfakerRodburger
    Dec 4, 2006
    10
    Fantastic album. As for waits sounding like springsteen, it's pretty hard to "sound like" someone who you predate. Maybe you mean Springsteen sounds like waits were he not midsiezure. As for critics, they are capable, unlike you, of giving their opinions due to being exposed, unlike you again, to a vast wealth of music.
  71. molo
    Jan 22, 2007
    10
    If you like Tom Waits, you have a good chance of liking this album. The first to discs are hands down excellent Waits Albums in and of themselves; they don't rise above themselves but they almost refuse to falter. Things grow much more subjective when the final disc comes around, which is also the disc that most people have something to say about. It's experimental. It's If you like Tom Waits, you have a good chance of liking this album. The first to discs are hands down excellent Waits Albums in and of themselves; they don't rise above themselves but they almost refuse to falter. Things grow much more subjective when the final disc comes around, which is also the disc that most people have something to say about. It's experimental. It's origanal. It's creative. It's dense. This is a disc clustered full of spoken word tracks and songs where guitars sound like anything but guitars. Personally, I consider it Bone Machine Part Deux, and it's my favorite in the set, which is why I gave the album a 10. In other words, discs one and two work to prepare you for disc three. If you like disc three, you love the album. If you don't, well, you'll want you money back. Album of the year, easilly. Expand
  72. JosephK
    Feb 18, 2007
    10
    Perfect in every sense of the word. If you're already a Waits fan and don't like this album, you're a communist. If you son't like Tom Waits... well, you're already a commie so it doesn't matter, does it?
  73. EoinB.
    Jan 26, 2008
    10
    After more than a year with this album I'm still lost for words on how best to pay it tribute. Incredibly beautiful.
  74. SeanP.
    Dec 11, 2006
    10
    Wow, man. I first heard Waits when i got Alice, and after loving that album, i listened to his back catalogue, becoming an unabashed fan in the process. Because of that, i have high standards to judge this work by, since i know everything else he has done, all very substantial as a whole. And this 3-disc album stands up with his best, and i'm not just saying that. Man . . . it did Wow, man. I first heard Waits when i got Alice, and after loving that album, i listened to his back catalogue, becoming an unabashed fan in the process. Because of that, i have high standards to judge this work by, since i know everything else he has done, all very substantial as a whole. And this 3-disc album stands up with his best, and i'm not just saying that. Man . . . it did take a few listens since there was just so much material, so much variety. But after you take it all in a few times, assimilate it all and understand exactly what he has released, finally getting what he has accomplished (nothing less than a consistent 56 track album, which is extremely hard), after seeing all that, you just go "wow". Will be a classic, i say that with all honesty. Expand
  75. JPickard
    Dec 14, 2006
    10
    It always seems like I'm hearing Tom Waits for the first time when I go out and buy his latest record. It's no different this time around. This voice would shuffle behind you in a dark alley circa 1925 and you will be afraid. The thematic seperation of the three disks works well with the songs presented here. The propulsive, kineticisim of Brawlers makes you wish that all It always seems like I'm hearing Tom Waits for the first time when I go out and buy his latest record. It's no different this time around. This voice would shuffle behind you in a dark alley circa 1925 and you will be afraid. The thematic seperation of the three disks works well with the songs presented here. The propulsive, kineticisim of Brawlers makes you wish that all records were recorded with this much intensity. The second disc, Bawlers, just makes me resigned that I could never make this music. And I stare at the speakers I tear up. These are glacially beautiful songs. I first heard The Fall of Troy off the Dead Man Walking soundtrack and it has always stayed with me. The last, Bastards, makes me glad I listen to this old man. He rages and pushes us out the car door going 80 down the highway, chugging away like a ghost locomotive. Close your eyes and inhabit this world. Though, you may want to bring a friend. Expand
  76. Douglas
    Dec 14, 2006
    9
    Cool. Very cool. I love Tom Waits, but I do admit he's an aquired taste. His music is ugly and beautiful at the same time.
  77. Matt
    Dec 21, 2006
    10
    Album of the year.
  78. May 16, 2011
    9
    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 theI 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
  79. bjk
    Oct 3, 2011
    10
    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 oneI 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
Metascore
92

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.