I could compare it to the original… in which case I find it lacking. The angry lust, hopeful frustration, and bitter abandon Tom gave the track becomes something sultry in Diana Kralls version, crafted for mass consumption, and easily digestible. Perhaps she is unaware of the play and the meaning of the song.
Frank’s Wild Years may not be Tom’s most popular album but the focus in presenting Frank’s story is unique among his discography. This watered down version seems to focus more on Krall selling albums which is antithetical to the musicality-for-its-own-sake world from which the song was born.
Frank’s Wild Years is definitely an underrated album, and this song is one of its real highlights. But, yeah, there’s none of the grit, the desperation of the original here. I’ve also never really been a big Diana Krall fan; based on other artists I like, she seems like someone I should be a fan of, but she always seems kind of… “watered down” is the right description.
Incidentally, one of my favorite Tom Waits covers (there certainly is no shortage of those) is from an artist I’ve otherwise never heard of, Arrica Rose (not that I’m in the loop with new artists). Maintains the simplicity and the melancholy of the original very nicely.
I was actually really excited to see this because a cover of Temptation that is “beyond compare” would be fantastic. Unfortunately I agree with you mostly.
I’m inclined to go a little easier on Krall here. I am very happy with anyone doing Tom Waits covers, and I have to assume she is doing it out of a sincere love of the original (since a cover from the middle of Franks Wild Years is not exactly a big record seller). It’s just that it is hard to imagine how someone could actually compare with, let alone beat, Tom Waits - and this is one of his harder songs to do well, I think.
This does remind me of an anecdote. I once saw an interview with Bon Jovi where he was asked who his favourite musician was, and he said, “Tom Waits. If I could ever make a song as good as a Tom Waits song I’d quite music because I’d know I could never do better than that.”
For all of our sakes, I am still hoping that happens.
Agreed. A better cover would be Holly Cole:
although it seems it’s trying a little too hard to be Tom Waits-ey IMHO. I’d kill to hear Patricia Barber covering Tom Waits though, she’s done a few covers of other artists that surpassed the original (again, just IMHO).
I dig the music posts. They are inspiring me.
I just went and listened to the original again. Wow.
Just want to say, despite my criticism of the cover in my post above, I too dig the music posts.
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