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Tooth of Crime

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iTunes Review

These tunes were originally worked up for a production of Sam Shepard’s play of the same name and are scored accordingly — dark and grisly. From the opening notes of “Anything I Say Can And Will Be Used Against You,” it’s readily apparent that Burnett is headed down noir alley, with spidery electric guitars and lurching rhythms that recall Tom Waits tracing an ominous path. As a producer, Burnett has worked with many experienced craftsmen and he calls upon guitarist Marc Ribot, Greg Leisz, Jon Brion and drummer Jim Keltner to maintain his standard of excellence. Wife Sam Phillips adds her downcast vocals to a few of the album’s tracks, dueting for the southwestern-to-Caribbean flavored “Dope Island.” “Kill Zone” co-written many years ago with Roy Orbison and Bob Neuwirth is a haunting ballad that recalls Orbison’s lonesome melancholy. “The Slowdown” is nearly subliminal with its languid horns and trippy, staggered vocal effects. “The Rat Age,” “Swizzle Stick” and “Telepresence” work spoken word into a bizarre meltdown of sound effects and collapsing rhythms. Delightfully weird.

Customer Reviews

The Musical Bones of Los Angeles - Clattering. Beautiful.

To the outsider, Los Angeles seems all glamour, celebrity and silicone lift. But to those who have lived there, and made music there, it is a place of dark brooding and moody beauty. The second largest city in the nation is home to a community of musicians unlike any other. These are the thick-skinned, devoted musicians who have seen slick pop acts come and go like jets from LAX. The city knows fame and cranks it out methodically. But underneath the lusty glow of L.A., there sings a beautiful, jangled rebel song that is unmistakably L.A. When I first heard this album on KCRW FM's iTunes feed, I immediately recognized the musical bones of Los Angeles. Disjointed, rebellious, incredibly beautiful. T-Bone Burnett is one of Los Angeles' most active producer-auteurs. A man who has panned for musical gold, in Los Angeles dry creekbeds. A man whose blood contains equal parts palm tree, smog, love, vintage guitar, sex and trafffic jam. In other words, listen to this album and understand what Los Angeles does to the aspiration of musical genius - here presented in intoxicating hues of brown, purple, black and orange. Just like the Los Angeles twilight.

genius at work

I am shocked that I would be the first to write a review of T-Bone, but alas. Thsi is a buy-without-hesitation. My partner says "strange beyond words". I say GENIUS, must have. This guy has done everything and he must be listened to. AND he is married to Sam Phillips (at least I think they're still married) and you just got to love that. This album is in Nick Cave territory, maybe. All I know is that I love it. BUY THIS

T-Bone album that should be in your collection

I admit that I was not eagerly awaiting this album nor am I familiar with Sam's work however I really enjoy this album. Almost every track I could picture being used for a soundtrack in a movie at some point aside from the obvious adaptation. The production on this album is excellent and I found this collection very inspiring and refreshing.


Born: January 14, 1948 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Despite critical acclaim as a performer, the rootsy singer/songwriter T-Bone Burnett earned his greatest renown as a producer, helming recording sessions for acts ranging from Roy Orbison and Elvis Costello to Counting Crows and Sam Phillips. Born Joseph Henry Burnett on January 14, 1948, in St. Louis, Missouri, he grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, soaking in the area's indigenous blend of blues, R&B, and Tex-Mex sounds. Instead of attending college, he opted to open his own Fort Worth recording studio,...
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Tooth of Crime, T Bone Burnett
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