Alice is one of the most distinctive of all Waits’ creations, occupying its own corner in the odd-angled room that is Tom Waits’ body of work. While there are the familiar parts–the redoubtable ragged voice, jazz ballads and poignant musings on death and longing–the whole is strange and exotic.
A devastatingly beautiful atmosphere made of sorrow and reverie, insanity and resignation, rises like a mist in Alice. It’s a lyrical melancholia, a feeling that creeps in on the arms of Stroh violins and unabashed poetry. These are songs to fall into, and sometimes, to keep falling. There are fragile, haunted musings, and laments, mad ruminations, and tales of unrequited love and anthems from beyond the grave.