Tom Waits


The weird and wonderful Tom Waits has been called one of the most influential musicians of our times. He’s inspired nearly every gravelly voiced, gritty sentimentalist who ever thought recording swinging barn doors could be kinda cool. He’s a vulnerable and heartbreaking balladeer—no man romanticizes a train track like Waits—a raucous bluesman, and an exhilaratingly peculiar artist. And he’s all of these in Orphans, his new three-disc, 56-song album of new tracks, unearthed songs and rare cuts. It’s organized into “Brawlers” (the rockin’, stompin’ songs), “Bawlers” (those ballads that rip your heart out and leave you wailing for your mama, an old friend or distant past), and “Bastards” (the uncategorizably strange selections). From taking the “Long Way Home” to the “Road to Peace,” the rewards from this musical journey are phenomenal.