In a career spanning over 30 years and 23 albums, from his 1st album, “Closing Time” to the most recent “Glitter and Doom Live” Tom Waits is still a voice to be admired and inspired by. With whisky soaked lyrics and tone of mayhem and mocking malevolence, Waits croons the song of the working man that speaks to the listener in dark revelry. To listen to a Tom Waits album, imagine a dark and seedy bar, smoke wafting throughout and a man in the corner singing softly to himself of better times mixed with angst and bitterness, – that’s Tom, the weird Uncle that shows up at the family gatherings hinting of gin and painted ladies.
With albums like “Heart Attack and Vine”, “Small Change” and “Nighthawks at the Diner” one gets the feeling that he is down or morose, but the fact is – he sings to a man’s ability to accept what he has and is, and works with it.
I enjoy songs like “The Pianos Been Drinking” and “I don’t want to grow up” or his melancholy rendition of “Waltzing Matilda”, but these are only a few of Waits masterpieces. Here are some of his critic’s musings about his most recent album,” Glitter and Doom Live”
“Glitter and Doom Live joins Nighthawks at the Diner (1975) and Big Time (1988) as chronicles of the awesome and, across the span of years, protean experience that is Tom Waits live…In the case of most of these tracks, their live rendition is the sum of both gains and losses…songs appear in versions that instantly become definitive.” – Drowned In Sound
“His gruff vocals give new life to tender ballads and increase the scruffy charm of his already-brutish selections…For those who self-identify as Tom Waits fans, Glitter and Doom Live succeeds on pretty much every level…He’s a musical Peter Pan, doing exactly what he wants when he wants, and, damn what anyone thinks, he’ll never grow up.”- Paste
Tom Waits is not only a courageous Crooner, but has engaged in acting in movies and theatre with spectacular success, movies like “Mystery Men” where he portrays a not so evil scientist looking to hook up at an old age home, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus where he is the devil.
Tom Waits is to be thought of as the music industries answer to the writer William S. Burroughs, who thought outside the box of the human mind, but it is my opinion that Waits digs deep within the human mind and brings out the angry and troubled person within all of us, embraces that person and shows him (or her) that light of day, and stands in the warmth of the souls sunshine, laughing at the joke that others have become while trying to “fit in”.
To learn more about Tom Waits, his music and to hear selections from his newest album – “Glitter and Doom Live” go to http://www.tomwaits.com/ or http://www.anti.com/home/ , I am convinced, if you are not a Tom Waits fan now, you will be.
Groove Studio One Editor
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