I loved Scarlett Johansson in Match Point and Lost in Translation — so much, in fact, that I was willing to overlook her recent misfires, film adaptations of best-selling books The Nanny Diaries and The Other Boleyn Girl. I would patiently sit through six more train wrecks like The Island in anticipation for the next Ghost World. So, I guess you could say I love Scarlett Johansson, the actress. Unfortunately, I am not so taken with Scarlett Johansson, aspiring recording artist.
Disappointment doesn’t adequately describe the letdown I felt after sampling a few Tom Waits cover tracks on her debut album, Anywhere I Lay My Head. I hadn’t heard Scarlett Johansson sing since her 2006 stint as the host of SNL, and I vaguely recalled her rendition of ”Something To Talk About” as ”alright.” Not ”alright, someone get her a record deal.”
Actresses are dealt some of the most brutal critical backlash, deserving or no, for their seemingly flighty forays into the music biz. So I admire Johansson for singing, or sort of moaning off-key for several beats too long, in the face of adversity. And if it’s hard to successfully transition from actress to musician, it’s even harder to tackle a folk legend like Tom Waits. Waits croons with raw emotion and his voice has such distinct grit, but it’s a sound that’s either poorly imitated or missing entirely from Johansson’s covers. She’s shown such emotional depth on-screen that it’s almost disconcerting to hear her sing with a hollow, lifeless quality.
Should Scarlett stick to her film gigs or is this just the start of her music career? Check out a few performances over at AOL Music and let us know what you think!
addCredit(“(Scarlett Johansson; Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com”)