Tooth Of Crime - T-Bone Burnett
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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. Mr. Burnett’s songs for the show are the basis for his new album, and a decade of marinating and reworking has only deepened their black-humor charm.
  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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Guitarist Marc Ribot adds a little flash to the gray affair, but Burnett prefers subtlety, which may have worked in theatre but not so much on disc.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

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