Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Anywhere I Lay My Head
Hmmm ... twenty-three-year-old starlet ...gets a record deal ... and releases an album full of Tom Waits cover songs.
We all knew that this was going to be either a work of utter transcendence or a foul, hang-over black pile of bowel movementry.
We were wrong. It's neither.
Some of the songs are truly God Awful - "No One Knows I'm Gone" and "Who Are You" being the worst offenders. I completely dismissed this release the first time I heard it - mocking it mercilessly to friends if my drunken memories are correct. But since I commandeered the radio at work and tuned it to an "Adult Alternative" station, the title track has grown on me. I decided to revisit the album and found that "I Wish I Was in New Orleans" and "Town With No Cheer" also have their charms. That charm was just obscured by the various studio shennanigans needed to mask Ms. Johansson's, ahem, average voice.
Please don't misunderstand that a beautiful singing voice is a requirement for a good Tom Waits song. Witness, well, Tom Waits. The beauty of Waits songs are that, for five minutes, you believe Waits is one of the skid-row bums or carny-folk that populate his songs.
I just can't picture Scarlett as a hobo. She can't pull off a line like "How do your pistol and your bible and your sleeping pills go?" without causing excessive giggling in this writer.
I respect Johansson as an actress - I enjoyed her in Lost In Translation, Ghost World and Home Alone 3. Interviews reveal her to be smarter than most people with perfect breasts. She apparently has exceptional taste in music. She really, really likes cheese, according to Wikipedia (God, I love Wikipedia). Anywhere Scarlett wants to lay her head - especially my lap - is fine with me. As an unemployed, bald, kinda doughy thirty-nine-year-old, I do realize my window is rapidly closing.
I really, genuinely, truly, kinda wanted this to work.
It didn't. But neither does it suck as many monkey balls as I feared.
Which was seven.
at 9:36 p.m.