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Waits' voice isn't the deep, gravelly instrument that bellows its way through Rain Dogs, but a smoky, measured one, devoid of artifice. Accordingly, the song structures are simpler, and the best attain a timeless feel. For all his relative conventionality on this debut, though, Waits is still closer in spirit to the great American songwriters of the '40s than any '70s California rocker. Listeners looking for the eccentric, carnivalesque atmosphere that typifies Waits' work from the '80s and '90s will be surprised by the relative straightforwardness of Closing Time, yet the album announces an important talent.
Tom Waits - "Closing Time" ..... Online Price $32.40