Tom Waits and Nick Cave are two of my favorite musical artists, and when the 3-disc Orphans compilation came out in December, I snagged a copy as part of my year-end shopping binge (I've been a good boy this year).
Each disc has a different flavor, with Brawlers being uptempo, non-Latin bragadocio; Bawlers has ballads; and Bastards is, uh, all over the place (the Amazon.com editorial review calls it "a funhouse of angular characters, spiky anecdotes, shaggy dogs ..." -- I'm good with that).
These songs are things that were done outside of core Tom Waits projects, or songs that didn't fit on targeted albums. While this could at best be a recipe for a vapid release (or at worst, a death knell for listability), this may be one of Waits's best albums.
The songs are soulful, moody, poetic, spoken word, quirky, playful, dark, dogmatic -- you name it, and you're likely to find the deep emotions thorughout the album. And even the fun surface stuff isn't superficial.
Great album. Listen to some clips on Amazon.com -- then buy the album somewhere once you're sold on how great it is.
Tom Waits should do music with Danny Elfman on a Tim Burton film. And I should be in the film. My head would probably explode. But it would be worth it.