Tom Waits' whole thing is an act -- the whole late-night, boozy, loungey, down-on-your luck jazzbo urban beatnick act. NOTHING he writes about or sings about is sincere, nor is the manner in which it is performed or sung. It's all a put-on. His voice, for example, doesn't actually sound like that. He's not really a drunk or a depressed night owl. There isn't a shred of artistic integrity to anything that he does. He is as genuine as a show-tune. If you like that kind of theatrics in your music, then I guess you'll like Tom Waits. But I don't give a lot of credibility to costumes, personas, and the like.
I'm not saying that his music is horrible, just that it isn't worth the time to even make that evaluation, because it is not honest. Kind of like Alice Cooper.
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