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Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs by Tom Waits
Released: Jan 1977
Label: Rhino/Elektra
Waits' cult following was well staffed by this 1977 release, although the nine-song offering is one of his relative low points of the decade. Bette Midler's dolly routine on the duet of "I Never Talk to Strangers" is proof that one-liners like "your life's a dime-store novel" are only convincing when sung by Waits himself. The rambling monologues in "Barber Shop" and "Jack and Neal" feel a bit more forced than some of his earlier beat rambles, and, although the barstool philosopher routine in "Burma-Shave" is nothing new, it's the record's best.
Nate Cavalieri