Anywhere I Lay My Head (Rhino)
they kinda pulled it off. No kidding. Sitekâ€™s arrangements (for songs that were
pretty much perfect to begin with) are mostly inspired, with the â€™80s style
echo-drenched textures of the production smartly avoiding most of the indulgent
clichés of such a sound. David Bowie lends his voice to two tracks, turning out
a charming Beach Boys-esque dum-de-do-wah choral on â€ś
Â On the other hand, Johansson canâ€™t really sing (but then some might say the same about Waits). She sounds pleasant enough. She keeps her baritone to a sultry whisper, which suits the path she and Sitek chose for these songs. Then again, thereâ€™s the title trackâ€”originally one of Waitsâ€™ most heart-wrenching vocal performancesâ€”which didnâ€™t really need a Casio bossa nova beat.
Â And that begs the question: Did these songs need any sort of makeover? No. But unlike most full-fledged tribute albums or actress-turned-singer albums, this at least sounds like more than a novelty item. Itâ€™s actually a shame that, in 10 yearsâ€™ time, thatâ€™s inevitably how itâ€™ll come to be remembered.