Tom Waits is certainly among the most unique of singer-songwriters. His voice is one of the most distinctive and recognizable voices I’ve heard. While not technically “good” by any means, I’d say his voice carries his music very well. He may not be a great vocalist, but he’s an amazing singer of songs. His voice flows with raw emotion.
In his music he incorporates rock, blues, jazz, experimental, vaudeville along with various other traditional styles and even some pretty experimental techniques. The result is music that sounds like nothing else, which is an art in itself. That can’t carry the music by itself, it’s also got to be enjoyable to listen to. And although Waits can be an acquired taste, I assure you that it’s a taste worth acquiring.