"Anywhere I Lay My Head" (CD single)

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
"Anywhere I Lay My Head" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Doleful-sounding debut from actress' cover album.

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

Positive Messages

The song has a heavy, melancholy tone, with lyrics like "I don't need anybody, because I learned, I learned to be alone/Well I said anywhere, anywhere, anywhere I lay my head, boys/Well I'm gonna call my home."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the title single from the upcoming cover album of Tom Waits' songs is a bit sober sounding, but it doesn't contain any objectionable content. The updated techno-ish beat will probably appeal more to kids than the original version of the song.

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What's the story?

Box-office bombshell covers a raspy blues icon? The pairing is a curious one. Scarlett Johansson is set to release an album of Tom Waits covers in May, with this being the title track and first single. Waits, an iconic singer/songwriter, is probably most famous for his trademark raspy voice, and Johansson follows other musicians -- from Rod Stewart to Bruce Springsteen -- in revamping some of his classics. With some help from production effects (predominantly drum machine beats), she covers a song about desolation and alienation.

Is it any good?

At first listen, the single sounds sadly over-produced. Johansson's voice is initially lost to the thumping beats and techno tricks. It's not the raw emotion of the Tom Waits' original; instead this interpretation is emotionally and musically buffered. Johansson's voice even sounds like she's singing from a great distance away. Even though her vocals may sound more like speaking at times, this is a solid attempt at a difficult song and Johansson should be credited with creating an original, moody single that stands apart from its predecessor.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Johansson chose to break into singing while enjoying such a successful acting career. And, why do you think she chose to cover Waits' songs for her debut album? Families can also talk about why performers make cover albums. Listening to the original versions of this song can offer a good way to compare and contrast vocal and production styles.

Music details

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