Real Gone, 2004
With Real Gone, Tom Waits' off-road adventures are taken into the further beyond. Mixing and mashing: worlds both sonic and ethnic, musical traditions both new and old, and rhythms both mouth-made and sampled from his own instruments, Waits has reached a new pinnacle. Written and produced by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, his wife and long-time collaborator, Real Gone features 15 tracks of funk, Jamaican rock-steady, blues both urban and rural, rhythms and melodies both Latin and African and, for the first time, no piano. The crash and collide of rhythms and genres within a song creates a hybrid unlike any music he has made before.