Dead and Lovely is the fifth song presented here by Tom Waits. It comes from his 16th studio album Real Gone. It tells the story steeped in the Noir genre of a middle class girl lured into the underworld by a wicked man with sordid motives. As Tom wrote:
He never gave but he got
He kept her on a leash
He’s not the kind of wheel
You fall asleep at
Tom is at the top of his poetic jagged voice form in Dead and Lovely. If you listen to interviews with him, he talks just like that. You would be excused for thinking his lyrics are the result of hours of hard labor, but it just falls out of his mouth fully formed. Also the music is synchronised beautifully with the great storytelling. Real Gone and Rain Dogs are often cited by many fans as their favourites.
According to Wikipedia about Real Gone:
The album features some of the few political songs Waits has written, the most explicit being “Day After Tomorrow”, a song Waits has described as an “elliptical” protest against the Iraq War.
It was chosen by the editors of Harp Magazine as the best album of 2004.