“Lulu,” a collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica, is unforgettable. It is wildly absurd and severely misguided. And though it’s tinged with an air of cruel apathy towards the listener, it still manages to be one of the more entertaining albums of 2011. It is bad in an almost hallucinatory sense; listeners may find it difficult to believe what they’re hearing.
For more than thirty years, Waits has been so good that his audience is forced to take his nuttiness seriously. So when he fumbles on his new album, “Bad As Me,” it doesn’t just mean the vocals are a little off or the music’s a little boring; it means that the whole thing falls apart.