By EW Staff
May 10, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

As an antidote to the sterility of modern pop, there’s nothing like plunging into Waits’ deliriously out-of-time jazzbo noir world. These two discs conjure visions of juke joints, opium dens, and after-hours clubs when the jam sessions turn surreal. What it all means is anyone’s guess (that’s some muse you’ve got there, Mr. Waits), but you’d be hard-pressed to find sounds this spookily evocative anywhere outside the grooves of scratchy old 78s. Both: B+