|Wallflower [Deluxe Edition]|
Diana Krall — Wallflower [Deluxe Edition]
♣♠ “Wallflower, wallflower, won’t you dance with me? / I’m fallin’ in love with you” — “Wallflower” by Bob Dylan
Birth name: Diana Jean Krall
Born: November 16, 1964 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Notable instruments: Steinway piano
Location: Vancouver, New York, London
Album release: Feb. 3rd, 2015
Record Label: Verve
01 California Dreamin’ 3:17
02 Desperado 3:32
03 Superstar 4:17
04 Alone Again (Naturally) 3:51
05 Wallflower 3:06
06 If I Take You Home Tonight 3:53
07 I Can't Tell You Why 3:40
08 Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word 4:11
09 Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels) 3:42
10 I’m Not in Love 3:53
11 Feels Like Home 4:22
12 Don’t Dream It’s Over 3:38
13 In My Life 3:54
14 Yeh Yeh (feat. Georgie Fame) 3:08
15 Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word (Live From Paris France / 2014) 3:44
16 Wallflower (Live From Paris, France / 2014) 3:11
℗ 2014 The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
JANUARY 25, 201511:02 PM ET
♣♠ In the 1970s, when Diana Krall was growing up, children and young adolescents regularly encountered very adult music on Top 40 radio. These songs were different from the sexually explicit playground rhymes so common in mainstream music today. ♣♠ They often centered on seduction, but were just as likely to confront the consequences of that post–free–love era: the jealousy and drift that stymied open relationships, the loneliness newly divorced or perennially single people often faced, the deep issues raised by changing gender roles and ideas about family. “Look at us, baby, up all night / tearing our world apart,” Timothy B. Schmit sang in the 1979 Eagles ballad “I Can’t Tell You Why,” a hallmark of the era and one of the staples Krall tackles on her 12th album, Wallflower. “Aren’t we the same two people who lived through years in the dark?” In the 1970s, light was breaking on the American domestic scene. What kids heard in the deceptively gentle rock their parents loved was a reckoning.
♣♠ On Wallflower, a collection of songs mostly from those formative years, Krall conducts a subtle experiment. Working with producer David Foster, who’s preserved and expanded the soft–rock spirit in countless hits for artists ranging from Celine Dion to Whitney Houston to Josh Groban, Krall interprets songs that are numbingly familiar to anyone in her age range, and does so in a straightforward, introspective manner that mostly lets them stand on their own. The album’s not spare: Foster’s signature strings–and–synths settings (created along with the arranger Chris Walden and the programmer Jochen van der Saag) surround Krall’s voice like the warm glow that comes after two glasses of something from the Napa Valley. But Krall remains calmly at the music’s center, taking great care with the intimate scenarios first sketched by Jim Croce, Gilbert O’Sullivan, 10cc, The Carpenters and others. She seems to be listening to the songs even as she sings them, teasing out their themes of abandonment, anxiety and melancholy resilience.
♣♠ Conveyed through Krall’s androgynous alto, Croce’s “Operator” takes a stark look at the downside of serial monogamy. The Eagles’ “Desperado” loses its swagger (thank goodness), instead becoming a rapprochement with recovery. Karen Carpenter’s haunting voice in “Superstar” can’t be bested, so Krall honors the original by subtly bringing out its connections to Brazilian samba while remaining within the Southern California framework The Carpenters built in 1971. Moving beyond the album’s ruling concept, Krall includes “California Dreaming” by The Mamas & The Papas and some later songs — by Randy Newman, Paul McCartney and Neil Finn — that partake of the humbled romanticism at its core. The title track, a 1971 Dylan waltz, has a twang that sounds a bit like it belongs on another album, but its story of two sad people connecting still fits.
♣♠ By staying close to the spirit, and often the letter, of the originals, Krall gives listeners a chance to confront them minus the baggage of their first owners’ iconic personas. But these interpretations are also free of the distancing humor or trumped–up drama current interpreters often employ. Her list of collaborators is illustrious: Stephen Stills and Graham Nash sing backup in one song; Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams duet in others; guitarist Blake Mills, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Jim Keltner all make appearances; and Schmit even adds harmonies in Krall’s respectful tribute to his original. But there’s no grandstanding.
♣♠ This isn’t Yacht Rock, nor does Krall drag the material jarringly into the present, the way others have who’ve revisited it, like Chromeo and Sonic Youth. Wallflower is clearly a memory exercise for Krall; a loving look back at some of the music that shaped her. That reflective mood helps make it more than just a glide over well–traveled ground. Songs like the ones Krall considers here surface in every era like the morning light on pop’s all–night party. Krall has 8–year–old twins; perhaps if they pursue music, they’ll one day cast a similar glance back at songs by today’s powder–blue troubadours, like Adele or Sam Smith. They can thank their mom for showing them how it’s done. :: http://www.npr.org/
Artist Biography by William Ruhlmann
♣♠ With her pre–bop piano style, cool but sensual singing, and fortuitously photogenic looks, Diana Krall took the jazz world by storm in the late '90s. By the turn of the century she was firmly established as one of the biggest sellers in jazz. Her 1996 album All for You was a Nat King Cole tribute that showed the singer/pianist's roots, and since then she has stayed fairly close to that tradition–minded mode, with wildly successful results.
♣♠ Krall got her musical education when she was growing up in Nanaimo, British Columbia, from the classical piano lessons she began at age four and in her high school jazz band, but mostly from her father, a stride piano player with an extensive record collection. "I think Dad has every recording Fats Waller ever made," she said, "and I tried to learn them all."
♣♠ Krall attended the Berklee College of Music on a music scholarship in the early '80s and then moved to Los Angeles, where she lived for three years before moving to Toronto. By 1990, she was based in New York, performing with a trio and singing. After releasing her first album on Justin Time Records, Krall was signed to GRP for her second, Only Trust Your Heart, and transferred to its Impulse! division for her third, the Nat King Cole Trio tribute album called All for You. Love Scenes followed in 1997, and in late 1998, she issued the seasonal Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
♣♠ When I Look in Your Eyes followed in 1999. Whatever renown Krall had earned over the years for her work exploded with this album, which became an international best–seller and earned her a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. It was also the first jazz album to be nominated for Album of the Year in 25 years. Krall's crossover success followed her as she performed in Lilith Fair the following year, and her songs cropped up everywhere from episodes of Sex in the City to films like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In 2001 she released The Look of Love, featuring charts by legendary arranger Claus Ogerman, best known for working with bossa nova innovator Antonio Carlos Jobim in the '60s. The album topped the Billboard charts and went quintuple platinum in Canada, the first by a Canadian jazz artist to do so. The Look of Love also helped Krall win three Junos in 2002, taking home awards for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.
♣♠ In 2003, Krall married iconic British rock musician Elvis Costello. A year later, she issued The Girl in the Other Room. Covering a few standards, this album also included original material — some co–written by Costello — for the first time in her career. Returning to the large ensemble standards approach of her previous album, Krall released From This Moment On in 2006. She gave birth to twin sons in December of that year. In 2009, she teamed once again with The Look of Love arranger Ogerman for the bossa nova–themed Quiet Nights; the album performed well, debuting at number three on the Billboard Top 200. Krall returned three years later with Glad Rag Doll, a collection of early jazz and ragtime tunes from the '20s and '30s produced by T–Bone Burnett. 2014 saw her once again attempting something new with the album Wallflower, covering a selection of pop songs from the '60s onwards by the likes of Bob Dylan, the Eagles, and Harry Nilsson which had inspired her early on in her career; it was slated for release in September.
1993: Stepping Out
1995: Only Trust Your Heart
1996: All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole Trio
1997: Love Scenes
1999: When I Look in Your Eyes
2001: The Look of Love
2004: The Girl in the Other Room
2005: Christmas Songs
2006: From This Moment On
2009: Quiet Nights
2012: Glad Rag Doll
2002: Live in Paris
2007: The Very Best of Diana Krall
2012: An Intimate Night
2002: Live in Paris
2004: Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival
2009: Live in Rio
|Wallflower [Deluxe Edition]|