I'm going to make a not-so-shocking confession: I love Scarlett Johansson.
I realize that it's a tremendously controversial position to stake out, especially when you've read my blog for all of one post and have firmly affixed yourself to the idea that I hate women, but there it is. I admire the hell out of her acting, she's painfully beautiful, and in all her interviews she comes across as carefully sculpted out of pure awesome. In my dreams, I see the two of us alone in my golden submarine, while up above the waves my doomsday squad ignites the atmosphere.
Anyway, she's done an album of Tom Waits covers that I like an awful lot.
Sayeth Listening Post:
Combine Esquire's "sexiest woman alive," the much-loved music of Tom Waits and producer Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio fame with guests like David Bowie and members of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Celebration, and you have pretty much the perfect recipe for a much-anticipated release.
Her label, Warner Music, has partnered up with imeem to let all of us unwashed masses listen to the album in its entirety before it is released later this month. Bully on WMG for embracing all of us onliney listening types, instead of treating us like criminals:
This album isn't for everyone, and comments at Listening Post are 100% hating on it. Eliot says, "I can't get behind every track on the album ('Fannin Street,' for instance, is a bit of a dirge)". I'm not crazy about "I wish I was in New Orleans," but I like a lot more of the album than not. It feels haunting and lush, with Big Sonic Heaven candidates throughout. If you enjoy Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, Massive Attack, My Bloody Valentine or Portishead, I think it's worth a listen.
Even if you don't like it and want your five minutes back after a couple of tracks, I hope you'll join me in applauding a major label for embracing this model. I hope this represents a step toward sanity from the recording industry mafia.