Anywhere I Lay My Head (Rhino)
they kinda pulled it off. No kidding. Sitekâs arrangements (for songs that were
pretty much perfect to begin with) are mostly inspired, with the â80s 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
Â On the other hand, Johansson canât 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, thereâs the title trackâoriginally one of Waitsâ most heart-wrenching vocal performancesâwhich didnât 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. Itâs actually a shame that, in 10 yearsâ time, thatâs inevitably how itâll come to be remembered.