Album: Vinicio Capossela, The Story-Faced Man (Nonesuch)

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Do we really need an Italian Tom Waits?

Well, if the artist concerned comes with the full approval of regular Waits guitarist Mark Ribot (who plays on six of the 17 tracks here), the answer is a categoric yes. But Capossela is no mere Waits impersonator. Vocally, he's more versatile than the old growler, and both his unhinged Dadaist rockers and his delicate piano ballads show him to be an exceptional songwriter in his own right. There's also an element of that other great Tom; Mr Ze, in there somewhere.