Released on the same day as Alice, Blood Money is also a soundtrack. It was written for the play Woyzeck, based on the Georg Büchner play of the same name. The play is apparently a dark series of tragedies, and the soundtrack is also nihilistic – it’s the dark side of Waits’ music with few ballads and lots of noisy oom pah pahs.
As with Alice, I largely find Waits’ discography a struggle in the 2000s; Blood Money is impressively vital music from a man in his fifties, but at the same time it doesn’t break any new ground, and Waits’ vocals have become rougher with time. Additionally, Blood Money is one of the darker albums in Waits’ catalogue. It’s not all gloom – ‘Lullaby’ is typically tender for a Waits’ ballad – but the most memorable material is the abrasive songs like ‘Starving In The Belly Of A Whale’, ‘Misery Is The River of the World’, and ‘God’s Away On Business’.
I admire Blood Money, and it’s a solid release, but make sure you hear the stronger albums from the 1980s and 1990s first.