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Scarlett Johansson

Anywhere I Lay My Head  Hear it Now

RS: 2.5of 5 Stars

2008

Play View Scarlett Johansson's page on Rhapsody

The girl's got indie cred, no doubt. Lost in Translation wrapped her in a dynamite alt-rock soundtrack, and she's sung with the Jesus and Mary Chain. So it makes sense that, for her debut, Scarlett Johansson takes on the indestructible songbook of indie totem Tom Waits. Produced by TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, the experimental result finds her draped, sonically speaking, in costumes as ornate as those 16th-century period gowns she rocked in The Other Boleyn Girl. It's a reasonable strategy, since Johansson's voice is unremarkable and her pitch sometimes unsteady; she's a faintly goth Marilyn Monroe lost in a sonic fog. Sometimes that's fine: "I Wish I Was in New Orleans" is carried by a haunting music-box melody, "Fannin Street" has lush choral vocals bolstered by David Bowie, and "Song for Jo" (the set's sole original) sweeps the singer along in sound whorls recalling "Tomorrow Never Knows." But the synth-pop version of "I Don't Wanna Grow Up," famously covered by the Ramones, makes you wish Joey was still around to take the mike.

WILL HERMES

(Posted: May 29, 2008)

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