STREAM: Scarlett Johansson's "Anywhere I Lay My Head"

The original title of this post was going to be "Unzipping Scar-Jo's Assets," since that's what we did a few minutes ago when the .zip file showed up with the press materials for Anywhere I Lay My Head. Ironically, we were in the midst of posting a video of a non-Scar-Jo Tom Waits cover when this stuff showed up. The album itself has been circulating around the office for the past week, and most of us are still scratching our heads. Don't get us wrong -- it doesn't outright suck, and parts of it are downright pretty. In an age when the accepted workflow for a Hollywood pop album is to line up platinum producers and set Pro-Tools on auto-tune, we give Scarlett bonus points for going au naturel -- maybe it's just that we OD'd on American Idol's Mariah Carey week, but we think you can hear the imperfections in Scar-Jo's lower range pretty clearly. Thing is, that kinda works well on these tunes; more than a few people have already noted what a smart move it was for her to court auteurism by going after the Waits catalogue, anyway. Without putting Scar-Jo in the same vocal league, we hear echoes of early Sinead O'Connor and Sarah McLachlan in her phrasing; and if the arrangements had been any less vanilla, we suspect some blogs may have forgotten about She & Him for a few minutes and put some more of these photos on their homepages.

Preorder: iTunes / Amazon

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