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Showing 1-10 of 58 reviews(1 star).Show all reviews
32 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2008
I'm not usally a fan of mainstream music. Occasionally I'll like the mainstream but more often I'll like stuff that's more off the beaten path. I have nothing against actresses trying their hand at music either: just in the past year Minnie Driver and Emmy Rossum released strong albums that weren't in keeping with the traditional pop music scene. But when I listened to this my opinion of Scarlett Johansson as a singer dropped significantly. I'd heard her rendition of "Summertime" on the "Unexpected Dreams" CD, and though she has a limited range, I thought she might be able to produce something worth listening to on an album. No such luck. I'm not a Tom Waitts fan to begin with, so I won't critique her choice of material. However her voice is raspy, frequently off key, with only a slight awareness of pitch. Her range encompasses is maybe an octave, and she sounds like she's falling asleep as she sings. For me that is the biggest problem. She doesn't seem to care about what she's singing. There's no sense of coloring her voice or phrasing in order to express any kind of feeling (she IS supposed to be an actress, you'd think she would at least um...act?) I'm a big fan of musical theater and I know Scarlett has expressed interest in doing that in the future. Based on this album I have to say I hope that never happens. I don't like writing bad reviews, but this kind of vanity project is what gives actresses who attempt music a bad name and make it harder for those who are actually musical to be taken seriously.
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2008
then I think that ScarJo should stick to her posing and preening on screen and keeping my interest piqued in her when she's not in a movie by taking even more near-nude photos for men's magazines. Wow, this reminded me immediately of so many other throwaway CD's I've listened to this year.

The album consists of 11 tracks, and if the first instrumental track "Fawn," is any indication of what lay ahead, then you would be well advised to turn back NOW.

The rest of the 10 tracks bleed together by the connective tissue of wind chimes, feedbacking synthisizers and sometimes, the handy dandy noise of wind. When I listen to this, why do I keep envisioning a little rich girl in clean clothes visiting an abandoned urine-soaked crack house and putting up pink "Girl Power" and unicorn stickers everywhere while throwing glitter?

She's going out of her way to try and imitate the vocal straining of Tom Waits, which for him works, but... Scarlett - please - this is not for you. I can almost see her as she "prepared" for this - smoking cigarettes to get her voice to purposely sound "husky" and in a lower register, and then warble lightly just enough out of tune to get the desired effect, her vocal lightly sprinkled over the clanging clashing of possibly more out of tune instruments.

It smacks of the typical celebrity self-indulgences: overwrought noisy ambience, and to be honest, it's TOO goddamn noisy. There's wind chimes (and I mean a lot of them), music boxes, the occasional strain of a violin, and wait - is that a Hammond organ moaning in almost EVERY track, to give it some sort of "depth"?

I've heard women over the years sing Tom Waits songs, and they don't go overboard like this. There is some kind of strange lonely sadness in his music, and if she had simply approached these wonderful works of musical art and sang the song accompanied only by a single piano, she would have had my interest.

Her voice is very very soft, which means she either meant to do this on purpose or she can't actually sing, but does what everyone who listens to the lite-rock stations in their town does - kinda sing along, a little bit, and then forget the song completely.

But as it is, does Scarlett J. feel as if she has suffered enough in her well-documented life and is a fan enough of this particular kind of pain to let us know she likes Tom enough to put THIS out?

Well, sorry to say, she's made me suffer. It's as if Bjork, The Shags and Gloria Balsam (of "Fluffy" fame) all decided to put out a compilation album. And I'm sorry, but this is just too distant and too convoluted to understand the words. I know they're covers, but in the end, I think I'll stick to Tom Waits, thank you very much.

I'll give you 2 stars for the effort, because not very many 25 year olds know of him, but this was not the way to pay tribute to someone who has was or is an influence of any sort in your life.

Next time, write a thank you card.

(p.s. - I wrote this on the Amazon discussion board a few days before this was released. I had to put this up here because, well... it sucks.)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2008
I think what the problem with this release is not the choice of material or the inexperience of Johansson, but the lack of soul and genuine emotion in each recording. These songs demand that type of intensity. Whether you like Tom or hate him, you cannot argue the integrity and soul that he pours into each and every song. I did find the arrangements interesting at best, but that aside, this is among the worst collections of Wait's covers to date. I give her credit for taking such a huge chance, but she ultimately fell short.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2008
I have heard many covers of Tom Waits' songs in the past (some are very well done), but none of the songs on this album has any soul, which is the main ingredient to Tom Waits' music.
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27 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2008
Who is the drunken man warbling on this CD and why is he calling himself Scarlett Johansson? Enough said.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2008
What an absolute travesty. It's one thing for an accomplished artist to pay homage to one of the greats, but for this "actress" to take on the material of Tom Waits is pretty ballsy to say the least. Did someone see her at a karaoke somewhere and in a drunken moment suggest this to her?
The musical arrangements are fairly decent on this, but other than that it's trash. At times I think she's attempting to sing like Fiona Apple doing Tom Waits and failing horribly. "I don't Wanna Grow Up" has to be the lowest point on this. IF you at all enjoy Tom Waits AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2008
Ms. Johannson has always been full of herself, but the NERVE of her to think she can sing. The only reason she got this chance to record is because she's famous. I just feel sorry for the truly talented singers out there who never get the lucky break and backing to make an album.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2008
Why listen to Scarlett's uninspired renderings of brilliant songs when you can here Tom Waits do them beautifully?
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2008
just a big steamy pile of dog $%@&!!
in regards to some other comments here... yes Tom can be an amazing singer... but of the last 20 some years he's gone away from being the troubadour-type he once was.

But this record should never have been made... it's a slippery slope covering Tom & Scarlett fell all the way down (ha! I kill me). The long and the short of it is this....
she's not a very good singer so they buried her in the mix along with multiple tracks of her self (a studio trick to make a weak voice sound fuller), the arrangements are ok for 1988 and as a result of the 20 year old production & multi tracked/buried vocals.... this sounds like a really bad Sinéad O'Connor record and I cannot stomach her either....
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2008
This is quite frankly the most disappointing album I have come across ever. When I saw the movie Lost in Translation I heard her sing in the scene where she sings Karaoke. I heard this album and came across the most overproduced tripe. It did not even sound like a woman's voice! It sounded like a megaphone blowing a combination of words that reminded people of a Tom Waits song. I was very much looking forward to this album. Having listened to this I can't tell when one song ends and when the other begins. She had the guts to step up to the plate and gave a big whiffer in the end.
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