Academy Award nominated and Grammy Award winner, Tom Waits has been long considered one of music's most influential artists because he has continuously created music outside of fad or fashion. With REAL GONE, his off-road adventures are taken into the further beyond. Mixing and mashing: worlds both sonic and ethnic, musical traditions both new and old, and rhythms both mouth-made and sampled from his own instruments, Waits has reached a new pinnacle. Written and produced by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, his wife and long-time collaborator, REAL GONE features 15 tracks of funk, Jamaican rock-steady, blues both urban and rural, rhythms and melodies both Latin and African and, for the first time, no piano. Anti. 2004.
There's little risk of confusing Tom Waits with the gentle pop folk who have covered his songs--Rod Stewart
, Sarah McLachlan
, Everything But the Girl
, just to name a few. That's because even though the eccentric songwriter is capable of summoning the most tender sentiments, his preferred method of delivery is through carnival melodies, crackpot instruments, and a bourbon-soaked bark. Real Gone
continues the dark experimental streak of not just its predecessors like Alice
and Blood Money
, but the past 30 years. Yes, the percussion is sharper, the arrangements stranger, and the voice more ghost-like than ever, but at the center of all the chaos remains an uncanny storyteller--capable of ripping down governments ("Sins of My Father") and building up tears ("Day After Tomorrow"). --Aidin Vaziri