Tom Waits‘ eighth studio album Rain Dogs was self-produced. It is the fourth out of five albums on this list of 1001 Albums. I think he is over represented. The album has a sort of concept about “the urban dispossessed”. The music is an extremely unique mix of musical styles. I would agree with Rolling Stone magazine’s assessment of it “Kurt Weill, pre-rock integrity from old dirty blues, [and] the elegiac melancholy of New Orleans funeral brass.”
Waits has one of the most interesting voices I have ever heard. It draws me. He is so unique, weird, and likable sort of like an uncle (not the creepy ones) who comes over only for special events. You want to know more about him, but afraid it will shatter the illusion.
There are quite a few good songs. Some of the best ones are “Singapore“, “Clap Hands“, “Cemetery Polka“, “Tango Till They’re Sore”, and “Big Black Mariah”.
Overall, the album is really good, but way too long. I found myself drifting away every time I listened to it. I had to start it over a few times. I think Waits is better in smaller amounts, especially with his gravelly voice. 8/10.