Review of Real Gone Album by Tom Waits

Tom Waits

Tom Waits - Real Gone - Album Review

Tom Waits

Real Gone

The king of experimentalism is back on the road, commencing a multicultural journey through afro Caribbean influences, Jamaican rock grooves, blues, and African and Latin rhythms and the start of success with the new album, “Real Gone.”

The master of experimentalist sounds, has not changed, and right from the opener “Top Of The Hill” drum machines, and intelligent beats

Tom Waits - Real Gone - Album Review

come into play to create an organised piece of chaotic noise, with a subtle guitar in the background, and mixed with a growled, and gravelly voice.

“Hoist the Rag” incorporates a sound like that of crashing dustbins, and presents the same voice, and an impressive guitar solo to produce more of a rock-oriented offering. The songs political sentiments about America going to war at their leaders request, incorporating sarcasm against the decision, add a punk spirit into the equation.

“So just open fire as you hit the shore

All is fair in love and war.”

Keeping with the political theme, “Day After Tomorrow” metaphorically tells of a young man who has been sent to war, and who misses the small things of home. Underneath, the punk tinged offering tells of anger of the country’s leadership and their belief that war is the way:

They fill us full of lies, everyone buys, bout what it means to be a soldier

I still don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about all the blood that’s been spilled,

Maintaining the angry sentiment, and with punk spirited vocals, is “Shake” which tells of the gangster life ( ripped shirts, jail, and black eyes) and gambling in casinos (tuxedos and bow ties.)

Waits also offers emotional and melodic tunes and does so in style, as on “ How’s It Gonna End” an impressive melodic offering, telling the story of a woman who left her man for someone else, a stab in the back on top of his already dreary life. Backed with plucky strings and a steady reggae style beat, Waits continues his multicultural journey, this time making the influence a Jamaican one.

“He had three whole dollars,

A worn out car

And a wife who was leaving for good”

Keeping with the emotive offerings, “Dead and Lovely” tells the story of a girl who fell in love with someone seemingly perfect, having money and the perfect angelic smile. She ended up metaphorically dead, as she lost her promising life of before, blindly marrying someone she loved, but who didn’t love her back, preferring to have her as an accessory on his arm.

Mirroring this is “Make it Rain” about a girl who took all that her love gave to her, and took him for granted, Make it Rain is a very emotional offering, and a rather angry one at that, developing into a poetic depression, also incorporating some great guitar interludes.

So whether it’s dance beats you like, or your traditional rock, Real Gone will have something for you, and a whole lot more as Waits holds no bars on the experimentalism, ensuring that current fans will not be disappointed.

Katherine Tomlinson