Tooth Of Crime

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Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The producer of many albums releases an album of songs from the Sam Shepard musical "The Tooth of Crime: Second Dance."
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. It’s a sonic adventure thanks to Burnett’s current signatures: booming drum kits sans cymbals, knotty guitars, lyrics sung through amplifiers, and an open, airy quality that’s the antithesis of modern rock production.
  2. Burnett has fashioned a sumptuously spooky, if lyrically opaque, work that feels both spacious and claustrophobic.
  3. Tooth of Crime is a smart, absorbing, and beautifully disquieting collection of songs that could have come from no one else but T Bone Burnett, and it shows that one of America's best songwriters may be working at a very deliberate pace but he still has some remarkable things left to tell us.
  4. Much of the album features a heavily minor-saturated tone complimented by dissonant brass chords and harmonies that emphasize the play’s catastrophic surrealism.
  5. The lyrics are nearly as evocative, with Burnett issuing detective-novel threats ("I can stir you like a Bloody Mary") and spinning dystopian sci-fi fantasies. But too often, on songs such as the droney 'Dope Island' (a duet with ex Sam Phillips), Burnett's melodies veer between off-puttingly strange and nonexistent.
  6. 60
    While there is no doubting the power of Marc Ribot’s off-kilter twanging or the noirish density of the music, the songs don’t really work on their own.
  7. Q Magazine
    But even knowing that [it's inspired by a Sam Shepard play], it's impossible to tell what's going on. [June 2008, p.149]

See all 11 Critic Reviews

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