Icon and Everyman: Three Tracks from Three Albums by Tom Waits

Tom Waits’ voice is truly a great instrument. Described as “soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car” by critic Daniel Durchholz, his rugged timbre manages to heighten and simultaneously transcend his lyrics. There is a sort of American mythology that is evoked by the growl that Tom Waits possesses. His voice encompasses a dustbowl era edge, softened by the beatnik poetry of his words. However, his voice also represents the experience of the classic American “everyman”. iCrates takes a fresh look at the development and versatility of his voice from three examples plucked from the full spectrum of Waits’ extraordinary discography.

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