Review ·

While not quite the trainwreck its backlash would have you believe it is, Anywhere I Lay My Head certainly is a bizarre album, washed in a Nyquil slick of David Sitek’s oddball, bombastic production and swirling around Scarlett Johansson’s deep, uninflected contralto. That ten of the album’s eleven songs are covers of deep tracks from Tom Waits’s clattering, throat-torn oeuvre (and the fact that the album features guest spots from David Bowie and Nick Zinner) gives it some degree of credit. The (mostly) blank-eyed, expressionless reinterpretations do not.

At its best (the eccentric, cascading beauty of “Falling Down,” or the whispered, wraith-like throb of the album’s lone original, “Song for Jo”), Anywhere plays like an alluringly weird Baudrillardian pop fantasy -- postmodern knobtwisting that attempts to recreate Waits's ancient, surrealistic inner vistas but ends up with a decidedly drugged and unreal, yet enticing, sonic simulation. At its worst (the electronica spatter of “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”), it’s the sound of a tone-deaf Nico drowning in churning waves of narcoleptic, Vaseline-chunked production tsunamis. Johansson simply lacks the intensity to stay afloat in Waits's whirlpools of ear-drummed madness.

 

If she were to lay her head in an album of her own material, she may find a place to call home. But let's hope she's just passing through Waits’s Fannin Street.

 

***

Artist: http://www.myspace.com/scarlettalbum

Label: http://www.rhino.com

  • Fawn
  • Town With No Cheer
  • Falling Down
  • Anywhere I Lay My Head
  • Fannin Street
  • Song For Jo
  • Green Grass
  • I Wish I Was In New Orleans
  • I Don't Wanna Grow Up
  • No One Knows I'm Gone
  • Who Are You

You can file this under "vanity project posing as a celebrity album." Though the album technically belongs to that Scarlett, the hazy soundscapes built around Tom Waits songs owe considerable credit to the producer TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. Fellow musicians of the contempo psyche clothe, including Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sean Antanaitis of Celebration, as well as that Bowie round out the proceedings.

Plantlife - Time Traveller Al Green Lay It Down

I just checked my iTunes and I've listened to the album six times.
It's really not bad the way people have made it seem. I like tracks on it.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba

I don't want to like this.
I SHALL BE HONEST!

LIVE COMMENTARY BY BANGER!

Let's start off when 'Falling Down'.

Not too shabby.
Seems like she is kinda going for the Nicoesque sound (well, kinda).

I'm gonna go for another song...

Let's see what happens.

'Anywhere I Lay My Head' is up next.
Eh, this song isn't too great.

Next: 'Fannin Street'
zzzzzzzzzzzzgheysacue

OK, UP NEXT IS...

'Town With No Cheer"
It's building...

Building....

MORE BUILD

COME ON SCARLETT GIVE IT TO ME!

ok...

She sounds like a 18yr old boy (not like that's a bad thing)

Her voice is starting to get to me at this point.
The organ is the only thing keeping my interest...and now i've lost that too.

The music is borderline generic sounding.
IT'S TOO HARD!!

THAT'S IT I'M MOVING ON!!

Well, crap...
That's all the songs were listed on her myspace.

I think she should have used a alias, imo.

Overall, it's a little better than I expected, but I still think it's a s-hitty record (from what I listened to).

Sorry, Scar J.

Love,
BA/\GER

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Banger/images-6jpg.jpg B/|nGerKat

s-hit.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Banger/images-6jpg.jpg B/|nGerKat

well done, banger

/site_media/uploads/images/users/acb/01bigblacktomb.jpg acb

maybe i'm just too much of a shoegaze fan from the 90's but i think the album's brilliant. i give it less to her than to the cat from tv on the radio. either way, i get lost in the waves of sound and the flood of her voice. some say it's off pitch. but, to me, the timbre's just right. greatly evocative of a mood; the mood i need.

maybe everyone wants a zooey deschanel (whose acting i appreciate more than SJ's), but i don't. zd's album was nice and a couple good tracks, but nothing i want to listen to repeatedly. SJ's album is a real pealing (peeling?) back of the onion.

just relax, forget who's name is on it, and dig it!

f yeah!

bunk

Scarlett is terrible. People are being blinded by her hotness. This album never would have been made if SJ was an unattractive character actress.

gp

I would still have cex with her.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/Banger/images-6jpg.jpg B/|nGerKat

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