Anywhere I Lay My Head

Common Sense Media says

Movie starlet does somber Waits covers.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Somber lyrics about some heavy issues such as abuse and disillusionment and a sorrowful sound make this album emotionally draining, especially for teens. Examples: On "I Never Wanna Grow Up" Johansson sings, "Well, when I see my parents fight/I don't wanna grow up/They all go out and drinking all night/and I don't wanna grow up/I'd rather stay here in my room/Nothin' out there but sad and gloom" and "Lay your head, where my heart used to be/Hold the earth above me/Lay down in the green grass/Remember when you loved me."

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Several songs have alcohol references although these references usually are in a negative context, such as one the song "Falling Down" ("Go on and take a swig/of that poison and like it/and don't ask for silverware/don't ask for nothing").

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an album of melancholy Tom Waits classics that often times deals with some pretty heavy issues, like alcoholism, abuse, and disillusionment. Mature topics are never taken lightly and subject matter that is often glamorized by pop culture, such as drinking, is explored in a more pessimistic and complex fashion. Johansson's vocals contribute the depressing tone on the album and although the content is straightforward and there's nothing really inappropriate for teens, this is definitely not a feel-good or pick-me-up collection.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Scarlet Johansson is a major fan of the moody and sardonic American icon Tom Waits, with his incomparable growling vocals and poetic songwriting. Many have covered his music before (Rod Stewart singing \"Downtown Train,\" Bruce Springsteen covering \"Jersey Girl\"). Johansson takes 10 of Waits' lesser known songs and joins them together with her vocal treatment and the production power of Dave Sitek from the group TV on the Radio. Johansson wrote one original track, \"Song for Jo,\" and David Bowie accompanies her on two songs.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you start off with quality poetic lyrics, an album's sure to be a success, right? Well, covering songs by one of the greats of American songwriting, Tom Waits can be tricky business and it seems that ScarJo might be well over her head. When an artist covers another the assumption is that the new covers will reinvent -- or at least recapture -- the spirit of the songs. Unfortunately, Johansson's treatment is bogged down by over-production to the point where she's almost lost in the techno accompaniment. It's easy to jump on the Johansson-bashing bandwagon; nearly every critic has dissed the album, but there's an atmosphere to a few of the tracks that will linger with the listener, such as the moody title track or the hauntingly poppy "I Don't Wanna Grow Up." But the languishing vibe of the album never changes, and as a whole, listeners will probably feel like they are stuck in a monotonous fog of dreary vocals.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Johansson decided to make this album. She has received much criticism for her inexperienced skills as a musician and vocalist. Why do you think she was given the opportunity to make an entire album? Do you think a bad album will hurt her acting career or provide her with more publicity? Would the album receive the same amount of press if a movie star wasn't singing?

Music details

Artist:Scarlett Johansson
Release date:May 20, 2008
Labels:Atco, Rhino Records
Genre:Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Anywhere I Lay My Head was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySonia jazz April 7, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
I don't have anything against this kind of music, but i really didn't like this. I don't like her voice and I think it is pretty bad.
Teen, 14 years old Written byParker H. August 16, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
I'm a big fan of Scarlett Johansson and this album just added to what she can do and what she can do well. This CD is not upbeat or happy but is still fun to listen to. Scarlett Johansson needs to keep making music. Her new single Relator is better than these songs and also features Pete Yorn which makes it all the better
Adult Written byvveronica April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

MUST LISTEN

I think that too many people are over-analyzing this album because it's covers from a ledgend and I think when a person covers a ledgend they are subject to more comparisons and harsh judgements than average because of it. Just forget all that & listen, the detail the dedication to the music. Think of actor/musicians like Lindsey yuck Scarlet's the real deal.

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