Mule Variations

Tom Waits - Mule Variations
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
1999 Ratings: #28 / 110
User Score
Based on 105 ratings
1999 Ratings: #23
Liked by 2 people
April 16, 1999 / Release Date
LP / Format
ANTI- / Label
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You can see it: the sky is dark, the moor is dry and arid... the man is creepy. "Mule Variations" is rough, long, cloudy, often angry and raw. This album is sad. In the service of bitter and uncomfortable compositions, the sound of water-starved clay, the authentic ugliness, like this old-fashioned treatment, this dirty and yellowed photo.

Tom Waits left with his old guitar in the middle of this no man's land, whose pages of the booklet show us ... read more
Ok, but like seriously, what is he building?
Mule Variations Is One Of Many Waits’ Masterpieces. The Record Is About A Impoverished Little Neighborhood That’s Filled With Danger And Suspicious People. As The Record Goes On, We See That This Is Due To The Amount Of Heartbreak That The Individuals Have Gone Through. They Act Out Because Of Their Pain. This Is One Of Waits Best Record With His Instrumentation Being At It’s Peak!

He Only Gets Better And Better.
Mule Variations is a modern classic from the legend. This is a pretty perfect setlist.
Waits continues to surprise me as he seemingly abandones his trademark Jazz sound and instrumentation in order to craft a country album that feels very nostalgic. Waits does very well when choosing certain instrumentation for this album; using harmonicas and even sounding like he recorded a song through a jug at one point gave the album a certain DIY feel that allowed all of the focus to be placed on Waits' vocals and lyrics.

Waits trademark swagger is on full display as he is able to infuse ... read more
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Year End Lists


Track List

  1. Big In Japan 
  2. Lowside Of The Road 
  3. Hold On 
  4. Get Behind The Mule 
  5. House Where Nobody Lives 
  6. Cold Water 
  7. Pony 
  8. What's He Building? 
  9. Black Market Baby 
  10. Eyeball Kid 
  11. Picture In A Frame 
  12. Chocolate Jesus 
  13. Georgia Lee 
  14. Filipino Box Spring Hog
  15. Take It With Me
  16. Come On Up To The House
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Added on: August 22, 2012