Tom Waits's style is a mesh of the beat poet, the eccentric satirist, and the dramatic orator; a mongrel storyteller, mixing Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, and Freddie Mercury into a medley of vaudeville, jazz, show-tunes, blues, folk, and rock. With his arsenal of an unique, otherworldly voice, a long life of hardship and happiness, and over-the-top exaggerations of the extreme and normality, Waits brings a new and often overlooked depth to songwriting.
Besides being a mastermind and a wordsmith, Waits is a brilliant storyteller. Weaving tales that are beautiful and treacherous, burlesque but refined, folksy yet urbane, he draws listeners into humanity's dark-side, dragging mankind's sins and shame under the examiner's spotlight, showing every speck of the grit and grime. Not withstanding this dreariness, he still gives the listener moments of levity, rays of light among the rain clouds, a joke, or a fragment of uplifting philosophy. He shows love, sacrifice, beauty, and worship, all the while holding up a mirror, reflecting misery, greed, vanity, and blasphemy. (more..)
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