SCARLETT JOHANSSON > Anywhere I Lay My Head

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Scarlett Johansson sings Tom Waits on Anywhere I Lay My Head and Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio) conducts the band. The album title is a track from the 1985 album Rain Dogs which contains “Downtown Train,” popularly covered by Rod Stewart in 1989. Sitek and Johansson forcedly avoid this track and other Waits classics (relatively speaking) lest they displease the gods of the music underground.Label: Rhino

[Rating: 2 STARS]

Scarlett Johansson sings Tom Waits on Anywhere I Lay My Head and Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio) conducts the band. The album title is a track from the 1985 album Rain Dogs which contains “Downtown Train,” popularly covered by Rod Stewart in 1989. Sitek and Johansson forcedly avoid this track and other Waits classics (relatively speaking) lest they displease the gods of the music underground. Holistically, Anywhere I Lay My Head falls between debuts by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Paris Hilton. Like Gainsbourg (who employed Air for her album), Johansson defers composition (but writes one song, the Mogwai-inspired “Song for Jo”). Sitek diligently modernizes Waits’ tunes with a sound technique he calls, “cough syrup-Tinkerbelle,” which invokes the Cocteau Twins. But unlike the Twins and Waits, Johansson’s singing is like her speaking: insipid; and when coupled with bleak, atmospheric music, what you’re served is the musical equivalent of lumpy mashed potatoes. But try the banjo/Bowie blessed “Falling Down.”

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