The first track from Anywhere I Lay My Head, Scarlett Johansson's album of Tom Waits covers, gave us a pretty good indication of where the album might be headed: thick, fuzzy production, androgynous vocals, and some pretty drastic reinterpretations of Waits' songs. Now, six full tracks from the album are streaming online, and sure enough, they all have a similar vibe.
Those of you who thought the vocals on "Anywhere I Lay My Head" sounded manly will have a field day with "Town With No Cheer," on which Scarlett's voice sounds flat and almost spooky. The title track still seems like the most dramatic makeover of a Waits song, and thus far, my favorite is the first single, "Falling Down," which has backing vocals courtesy of David Bowie (who also contributes on another of the streaming tracks, "Fannin Street").
Having heard more of the songs, I'm still not positive I'd buy the album, but the result is nothing like the disaster I imagined way back when I first heard ScarJo had her eye on Waits' catalog. How about you? To listen to Scarlett's version of "Falling Down" along with a live version of Waits singing his original, just
Tom Waits — "Falling Down" (Live):