Is it just me, or does it seem that most movie stars wanna be rock stars too? I mean, toss a dart in Hollywood and you’ll hit some actor who thinks he’s got the chops to rock out and the simple fact is, 99.9% of them suck at it! Why is it that Billy Bob Thornton, Kevin Bacon, Jared Leto and Russell Crowe all think they can force Bono to the unemployment line? Is the music biz so devoid of talent that there are record executives who think Juliette Lewis, Dennis Quaid and Kevin Costner need recording contracts? Can’t actors just be happy with taking huge paychecks for prancing around in front of a camera and leave my ears in peace?!! I guess not, ‘cuz now comes ‘Break Up’, the second simply God-Awful album from Scarlett Johansson. Apparently ‘inspired’ by the ’60’s duets of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, she teams up with Pete Yorn…a great singer/songwriter who bloody well should have known better, but was probably blinded by ScarJo’s inner artist and etherial beauty! I had heard the buzz surrounding the release of this album back in the summer, but after her first lame attempt at grabbing the Golden Ring of Rock-God fame, Anywhere I Lay My Head, an ill-conceived mishmash of Tom Waits covers, I could give a damn if I never heard her disinterested moaning voice plod through another collection of self-important garbage, but then last night as I was driving back into the city, this dirge slithered outta the radio and almost forced me off the road. I am slack-jawed over how amazingly bad it is. I would gladly just jump in front of a bus in order to never have to endure the pain of listening even one more time, but I feel it’s my duty to warn all of the Friends of The List to avoid this nightmare set to music at all costs…so please listen at your own peril!!!
I still get chills whenever I crank up his debut, musicforthemorningafter, so the news today that Pete Yorn is getting ready to drop his new album, Back And Fourth, has me all goose-bumpy. After that album hit, Yorn was hailed by the critics as the best thing to come out of South Jersey since Bruce Springsteen. To that, I say those critics obviously forgot about the pride of Red Bank, Kevin Smith….but that kinda comparison has gotta weigh on anybody and while his more recent releases have all been solid, getting heard in today’s music scene is tough enough without everybody thinking you’re the Boss’s replacement! His last album, Nightcrawler, basically went unnoticed, so he crawled back into the studio with mega-producer Rick Rubin. And if you think you’re hearing a a bit of early Rod Stewart in the mix, it wasn’t by accident…I’ve always thought his voice paid tribute to Rod, but he has he actually said he wondered what Stewart would sound like singing this song. The new disc is due on June 23rd, but you can head on over to MySpace to stream a few more cuts.