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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Top Of The Hill|
|2. Hoist That Rag|
|3. Sins Of My Father|
|4. Shake It|
|5. Don't Go Into That Barn|
|6. How's It Gonna End|
|7. Metropolitan Glide|
|8. Dead And Lovely|
|10. Trampled Rose|
|11. Green Grass|
|12. Baby Gonna Leave Me|
|13. Clang Boom Steam|
|14. Make It Rain|
|15. Day After Tomorrow|
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
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Top Customer Reviews
Whatever inspired Tom Waits to produce this CD and add "Day After Tomorrow" as the last song, this trooper would like to know more. Tom, who in the world do you know over there? Who is the soldier in that song?
The CD's only drawback is the unapologetic raspy voice of Mr. Waits himself. Listeners unfamiliar with Tom Waits extreme hoarseness will find definite impatience in giving the CD its full consideration. What a shame. To me, it lends perfect honesty. How sublime.
(PS: also check out the Shrek 2 soundtrack for a great Tom Waits piece entitled "Little Drop of Poison")
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The music is oddly mixed and Tom's microphone sounds overloaded at times, but somehow it all fits together to make sense. The disc opens with "Top of the Hill," which is a great indicator of things to come with its funky rhythms with prominent percussive downbeats. If you enjoy this tune, you will likely enjoy "Metropolitan Glide," which comes up a few tracks later and uses turntables to great effect without dominating the musical landscape. There are a couple beautiful slow pieces as well in "Dead and Lovely" and "How's It Gonna End." The guitar duties are largely handled by the legendary Marc Ribot, whose playing is perfectly suited to Waits' music. He really shines on "Real Gone." His guitar brings a haunting quality to the slower pieces and razor-sharp gutter funk to the faster tunes.
All told, this is just another classic Tom Waits album. He is amazing. "Real Gone" is like walking down an old dusty road in Mississippi and noticing something shiny along the roadside. You walk over to the item, look down, and see a handle of a box buried halfway in the dirt. You dig out the box, open it, and find an old pistol, a flask of good whisky, and $3000 in circa 1920 hundred-dollar bills. You know there must have been some foul play long ago, and that the locals still probably know all about it, but you pocket the cash and the pistol and head on your merry way. There are gifts in the dirt. The music on "Real Gone" is gritty and mysterious, but just go with it, because you really wouldn't want to know the answers to any of the questions you might have about this music.
Relying less upon melody then shaky rhythm, song after song consist of one crumbling riff or two that Tom croaks out wildly along with, barking vocal percussion in strangulated yelps. Recorded in his bathroom at home, these human backbeats are as hilarious as they are frightening. He apparently didn't loop any of them either, like the intro to "Big in Japan", opting instead for the unpredictable accidental grunt that one would groan out after having screamed "Boo Boom, KUH KAK!" for four straight minutes.
Lyrically, this is as strong as any other Waits record, following the example of Blood Money and focusing less on narrative then bittersweet metaphor, ("He's not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at") complimenting the pitch black instrumentation perfectly. When not making wonderfully absurd commentary ("If I was a bed, I'd be an unmade bed"), he's barking along with the drums and his previously recorded percussion, the John Lee Hooker from hell groover "Shake It" and bleeding rock "Baby Gonna Leave Me" prime examples. Your foot won't not pound the floor in unision.
I don't know exactly what people who buy Real Gone for an introduction to Tom Waits will think, but longtime listeners will laugh and cry the whole way through, marvelling at the most undeappreciated musician of the last 50 years, somone having long ago deserved the respect and awe names such as Bob Dylan instantly conjure. At the very least, the coverage in magazines and newspaper. Anyone notice how small the mentions of his musical doings are these days?
Backed by a talented crew featuring the welcome return of guitarist Marc Ribot( his dirty guitar tones are custom made for Waits material) and Primus' bass extrodinaire Les Claypool, Waits lays down what has to be his most primal set to date. Where BONE MACHINE's harshness was levened by the occasional ballad, REAL GONE is an unrelenting set of cacophony and insistant rhythyms, even the queiter moments are raw and filled with dread.
There are a number of fine songs that rank with the best in the Waits canon, including the 10 minute plus SINS OF MY FATHER, the primitive blues of SHAKE IT, the rustic flavored TRAMPLED ROSE, the deep-fried blues stomp of HOIST THAT RAG and sublime soldier's letter to home DAY AFTER TOMORROW (the album's tenderest moment).
On the other hand there are a few tracks that may not have passed the cut of an editor such as the incessant opener, TOP OF THE HILL(featuring Tom the human beatbox), and the mostly spoken tracks, CIRCUS and CLANG, BOOM, STEAM. While good, they are not essential, though they do fit in the general overall tone of the album. Also worth mention is that he his using the same templete used on both BONE MACHINE and MULE VARIATIONS. Some of the arrangements and topics feel familiar. Still these are minor quibbles.
All in all, this is a fine work by Waits that will be especially appreciated by those that came on board with either SWORDFISHTROMBONES or BONE MACHINE, and are undeterred by his more experimental timbres. It's been a long road from HEART OF SATURDAY NIGHT or CLOSING TIME to this, and those who are predispositioned to his early work may find this tough to swallow. Neophytes to Waits would be advised to aproach carefully. This is unusually harsh stuff from a man whose voice at it's most melodic makes a garbage disposal sound like Sam Cooke. Still this is an excellent work by an artist with a unique vision and approach, and a welcome addition to his fine catalog. 4 3/4 stars.
"Real Gone" utilizes some new sonics such as vocal beatboxing and deranged guitars, experimental noises and found sounds to make and odd symphony that's just as rewarding as "Mule Variations", "Blood Money" and "Bone Machine". I particularly enjoyed the drunken deranged broken record player stylings of "Shake It" where it moves from one pace to another and one key to another key. Les Claypool of Primus certainly adds the right touches to Tom's already unique style. Be prepared like "Mule Variations" to sit through 72 minutes of whacked out experimental music in the form of blues, folk, ragtime and rhythm and blues Tom-style.
Certainly a pioneer of his own original sound, Tom Waits continues to be one of a few troubadors that won't bend to record company schlock. My hope is, at 55, that we don't lose such an original talent to cancer like we lost Warren Zevon. The smoking has certainly aided Tom in creating a voice to suit his brand of music very well. Here's to more experimental works, and maybe old Tom has a few more musical tricks up his sleeve yet. If you are new to Waits this is a decent place to start and work your way back, but really all of his albums are essential. He's one of the few artists to make decent albums throughout his career.
I had no previous exposure to Tom Waits. No knowledge of him other than recognizing his name from some_unknown_where. I'd heard a brief clip of him singing something (I don't believe it was from this project), I love the blues, and I decided to purchase this CD blind.
Since I have no other Tom Waits material to compare this to, this review will focus on the album as it hits an uninitiated ear.
To others who don't know what to expect, think of Frank Zappa on downers meets the Blues meets Louis Armstrong with a bad case of laryngitis. Rephrased: the most creative, avant guard, experimental, weird, dark, bluesy, disturbing, obscure lyrics I've ever heard set to completely uninhibited music and sung by one of the most gravely voices I can imagine.
Wow. My head is still coming out of its funk from listening to this an hour ago. I'm serious.
When I inserted the CD I was first hit with chaos, and the chaos lasted for a couple of more tracks. I honestly thought it would be more than my highly tolerant mind could bear to make it through the first song (which itself didn't let up for one moment). But I did make it, and I'm glad. By the time the CD cycled around to track 1 again, I loved the song I thought I hated at first. Waits successfully shattered my defenses.
This man is a phenomenon and so is this CD. Unbelievable stuff. I highly recommend it, but not for the timid or intolerant. This is far, far beyond what the regular listener can handle.