Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on May 16th 2008 11:00AM by Beville Darden
"It's an album that we made for our own lifestyle that we thought was a cool project," Johansson told Spinner after her exclusive Sessions taping. "And perhaps more people will be aware of it because they know my name from films ... but whether that harms or enhances the success of the album, it's all fair game, really."
'Anywhere I Lay My Head' is an album of Tom Waits covers, plus one original song Johansson co-wrote with her producer, TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. The actress turned singer says she started the project on her own but was musically rescued by Sitek.
"It just sounded so corny, like we were trying to recapture these seemingly happy accidents that are the Tom Waits recordings ... and with my voice it just wasn't anything I would buy or listen to," she said of the pre-Sitek recordings. "So it was kind of a hot mess in the beginning. And I know David was clever enough to see the possibility in the early recordings, which nobody will ever hear, thank God!"
Johansson was admittedly nervous about cutting songs by the iconic Waits. She intended only to put one of his hits, 'Never Talk to Strangers,' on an album of standards. But once she took a good look back at the Waits discography she cherishes as a fan, she found enough songs that she wanted to reinterpret to fill an entire CD. But the burning question remained: Would Waits approve?
"I've heard that they [Waits and his wife, Kathleen] were really pleased with the work we put into it. And thank God, because that would be hideous if he were not happy with it," Johansson said. "Of course, before going in to do the album, I wanted to make sure he knew we were doing it and was OK with it. I can't imagine what it must be like to have this child and watch somebody take it over and raise it."
The casually dressed, fresh-faced Johansson sang four songs from the album at the Sessions performance: 'Falling Down,' 'Anywhere I Lay My Head,' 'Green Grass' and 'Who Are You.' She added a fifth Waits song that didn't make the project, 'Yesterday Is Here.' It was her first time performing the song, as it stretches her normally husky voice to new levels, proving talents that span beyond the silver screen and far beyond her 23 years.
"I don't pretend to have any perspective on my life at all," said the unassuming star. "But I'm a go-getter. Nothing ever bores me; I'm always wanting to explore and work hard and collaborate."
Watch Scarlett Johansson's full Sessions performance here.