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Tom Waits, Real Gone

Since Waits came out of hibernation in 1999 to release the Grammy-winning Mule Variations, he has been releasing records on a consistent basis. In 2002, he released both Blood Money and Alice. Waits’ 19th studio release, Real Gone, sounds different on the surface but upon further plays it’s just Waits up to his usual tricks. The record isn’t boring or conventional though. Real Gone is influenced by Jamaican rock-steady, rhythm and blues, and contains the occasional turntable scratch. “Hoist That Rag,” “Shake It,” and “Green Grass” all display the underrated guitar talents of Marc Ribot. Known for his underground recordings Ribot plays some of the most honest blues heard in a long time. Of course, on all the tracks, Waits’ trademark growl is in full force. Waits’ growl adds depth to “Baby Gonna Leave Me” and “Don’t Go Into That Barn.” Real Gone is another intense and energizing release from Waits’ already eclectic discography. 4 out of 5. (Anti)

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