Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scarlett Johansson

Anywhere I Lay My Head

Oh, Scarlett. Anyone covering a bunch of Tom Waits songs is asking to be mocked — wait, I haven't mocked yet — but darlin’, you’re not even a singer! And I don’t even mean that it’s not your day job... I mean that if you weren’t famous and generally respected already, you wouldn’t be asked to sing unless it was part of a “Happy Birthday” sing-a-long! (OK, now I’m mocking).

The good news is, the band is beyond fine. TV on the Radio multi-tasker Dave Sitek has assembled a core band of Hipsterberg types, members of Celebration, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and his band, who easily shuffle between Louisiana fog and New Order nightclub, often in the same song. Only one, "Green Grass," falls into the trap of sounding too Waits-ian. Johansson’s voice isn’t awful and has a pleasant, young Linda Thompson affect to it. Her lack of maturity helps her bring something old man Tom can no longer bring to "I Don’t Wanna Grow Up" — a literalness that the song never had before.

c. 2008 LEO Weekly

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