Highlight: A Tom Waits and Muse mash-up forms an unexpectedly brilliant fusion: What Is He Forcing In There?


If there was one positive outcome brought about by the advent of the internet, cat videos aside of course, it is the dramatic rise in popularity and quantity of music mash-ups.


Mash-ups are defined by Wikipedia as “A song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another.”

Often, an unexpected mash-up of two vastly different artists comes along that inexplicably makes sense.


On July 28 such a song was posted on r/mashups, bringing us the magnificent fusion of the grovelling voice of beatnik musician and poet Tom Waits in ‘What’s He Hiding in There’ and British Rock Band Muse’s droning ‘Forced In’.

Reddit post

Aptly titled “What Is He Forcing In There” and posted by user Stephen Thomas, the tracks blend extraordinarily well together. It’s hard to imagine, given how different the two artists are. Yet, Waits’ flat, deep baritone voice recites verbatim a poem about paranoia, while the dark, heavy instrumentation of ‘Forced In’ creeps in and gradually builds to a rapidly growing and overwhelming cloud of noise that overtake the lyrics and odd sounds until finally cutting off, leaving nothing but the final lines read by Waits.
As any good mashup, it’s a song that blends perfectly; well-timed and transitioned well. The two tracks fit together as if it were a song that was always meant to be. Sometimes, through experimentation, something beautiful happens. This happened in the case of “What Is He Forcing in There.”


Be sure to check out Stephen Thomas’ original work here.

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