Anywhere I Lay My Head

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Anywhere I Lay My Head Music Poster Image
Movie starlet does somber Waits covers.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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."

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").

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byvveronica April 9, 2008


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 t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySonia jazz April 7, 2010
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
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... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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?

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