This time around living legend Diana Krall takes some classics from the last thirty years, most of which were mellow to begin with, and slows them down even more, making them dreamy and hypnotic, songs that would lull you off to sleep if they weren’t so darn captivating. The Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreamin'” becomes a soft, even delicate, number as gentle as a warm summer breeze. The Eagles’ “Desperado” sounds so syrupy sweet it’s easy to imagine it playing in an opium den. And Bob Dylan’s “Wallflower” loses all of its scruff and becomes an easy listening ballad with elegant strings that were likely producer David Foster’s idea. To that end, the album is laced with a sometime sweet, sometimes almost eerie, backdrop of strings. Fortunately, they only add detail to the songs, Krall’s voice and piano always dominating the mix. The album is not without a couple of missteps, however. Gilbert O’Sullivan’s 1972 hit “Alone Again (Naturally)” is done as a duet with Michael Buble, which kind of defeats the whole “alone” part. Also, Buble sounds out of place on this album, though he does a decent job of subduing his inclination for doing things over-the-top. And on Paul McCartney’s “If I Take You Home Tonight,” she sings, ““If I take you home tonight / I will think of songs to sing to you / Music filled with joy and light.” But her rendition has a air of melancholy that makes it sound like anything but music filled with joy. Still, she does a damn fine job of reinventing most of the songs on hand, other highlights being 10 cc’s “I’m Not In Love,” Crowded Houses’ “Don’t Dream it’s Over” and Jim Croce’s “Operator.” Ultimately, Wallflower is probably Krall’s most “pop” album to date, but it’s far more likely to please her longtime fans than make her many new ones.
#albumoftheday / REVIEW: DIANA KRALL: WALLFLOWER
Tags: #albumoftheday, 2015, Diana Krall, jazz, jazz pop, review, reviews