Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards Image
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 152 Ratings

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  • Summary: Unlike typical rarities compilations, this 3-disc set includes 30 brand-new recordings--in addition to the usual mix of covers, soundtrack selections, and other previously uncompiled material. It's like getting three new Waits albums at once.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 32
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 32
  3. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. It's almost too much, really, but Waits doesn't release albums very often, so you can make it last.
  2. An outstanding musical creation... that nods to almost every known genre of American music, and some that have yet to be named.
  3. A colourful, incomparable colossus, a work of breathtaking, staggering genius and no mistake.
  4. Compiled from various stages of his career, with varying fidelity but weirdly without varying quality, Orphans is the singularly odd cutting-room comp that serves as an equally decent introduction to a career.
  5. Orphans may not have something for everyone, but what’s missing says more about the listener than the record.
  6. [The three albums] together make up one very powerful entity.
  7. After 30 years, Waits keeps getting weirder and weirder while still aging gracefully.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 92
  2. Negative: 7 out of 92
  1. 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 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
  2. 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 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

See all 92 User Reviews