Will Tom Waits ever release another album?

Tom Waits: A wild dog gets young again

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That it can never be too late for a happy youth, both as keepers and destroyers. A late master!

Usually people get a little calmer and more committed as they get older. It is decidedly different with Tom Waits. At the latest after a creative break of several years and his switch from industry to the small label Anti- for the album Mule variations In 1999 the US songwriter said goodbye to the previously somewhat predictable posing as a broken piano ballader and since then has experienced a second youth together with his wife and lyricist Kathleen Brennan as a dreamy and confidently staged wild, unteachable dog between old blues pubs in Mississippi and crooked, idyllic and shot ones Images from the backyards of the American dream are by and large unrestrained and devoid of genius. Wise old work? But no!

After the opulent and qualitatively somewhat worn double release Alice and Blood Money from the year 2002 and his sometimes somewhat forced approach to the work of Brecht / Weill, Tom Waits has been with the masterly since 2004 Real Gone in the form of his life. He distills the best and most unbridled career moments between the dirty Rhythm'n'Blues of Heartattack And Wine, Swordfish trombones, Rain Dogs and Bone machine less as a pianist, but more as a destructive rampage on the guitar to modern classics that have fallen out of time. That may seem a bit flavourful at times. In all of his performance of a third-rate musician with experience as a homeless person as well as part-time homeless and drunkard, which is of course exaggerated, Tom Waits has now reached a level of play (with the emphasis on "play") that hardly anyone in the trade can hold a candle to. This was also confirmed by an overwhelming live impression in an old theater in Amsterdam during his last European tour two years ago.

Big, tragic and with holy anger, Tom Waits is now also throwing the triple CD Orphans - Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards on the market. Of the 56 works presented on it, 30 are new or previously unpublished. The rest consists of various works for film or tribute albums, including two cover versions of the punk founding fathers Ramones, or the song written by the heart-wrenching, crazy Daniel Johnston King Kong.

But also spoken word pieces and a poem by the "kindred", well, "Gossenpoeten" Charles Bukowski are on the program in 2006. In addition, one experiences Tom Waits, who today prefers to record his records at home on his farm near San Francisco in an old chicken coop on rubble instruments, especially as a great interpreter of a wild, punk-influenced turbo blues in the school of Howlin 'Wolf or Muddy Waters and, as a soulful Röchler, hymn-like, gospel-inspired pieces such as the century number Road to Peace.

"Growling an warbling, barking and screeching" is what Tom Waits calls his singing style in the opulent 94-page booklet. And similar to Bob Dylan's work today, the focus of his work is clearly on this stone-old voice, apparently destroyed by life, with which he maintains an intimate and loving relationship despite its desolation. A masterpiece! (Christian Schachinger / DER STANDARD, print edition, 11/17/2006)