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3.5 out of 5 stars463
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Showing 1-10 of 82 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on September 28, 2001
I've long been of the opinion that Ms. Krall is a victim of her own publicity and of the hype that says anyone who looks as good as she does must sound good too.
Sorry but she doesn't hold a candle to any real singer of jazz and she should stick to playing the piano where she's at least competent. Compared to Ella, Sassy or Dinah Washington, the blonde bombshell from Nanaimo, B.C. is more of a bomb. Even as a pianist she can't match Marian McPartland or Jeri Southern. In fact she could learn a thing or two about singing from Jeri and a whole lot about piano-playing from Marian.
This album is overproduced and the talents of Claus Ogermann are wasted. Krall needs to learn breath control, phrasing and timing. I suggest she spend some time listening to Sinatra, Bennett or same-sex singers like Nancy and Cassandra Wilson, Diane Schuur and Lena Horne. They don't break lyrics in the wrong places or scoop notes to compensate for missing them on the first try. The album might better have been titled, "The ballad is my undoing."
She should stick to what she does best, rhythmic and swingy numbers like "Frim Fram Sauce," "I'm an errand girl for rhythm" and "Popsicle toes." Better yet, she should sing no more often than every second time she sits down at the piano.
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on September 28, 2001
The booklet to Diana Krall's best CD 'All for you' described two Nat King Cole's - one the jazzman, one the pop singer, and described the King Cole trio as the summit of the two. Similarly, Krall's tribute to Cole was the best expression of Diana Krall as a jazz pianist and jazz singer.
On this new record, Diana the pianist goes AWOL, along with her sidemen, guitarist Russell Malone and her scores of fantastic bass players, notably Christian McBride and Paul Keller. I got into straight ahead jazz through her albums with their marriage of accessible and intimate vocals, which buffered the then foreign jazz improvisations - which I later discovered to be sharp, concise, tight and swinging. Since then I've discovered many more complex players, but I can always go back to 'All for you' for the sincere and honest feeling it evokes.
This new CD feels like money. Her last CD 'When I look in your eyes' dabbled with the orchestra, but saved itself with enough sharp small combo tunes to compensate. Here, all the tracks have orchestral backing, and five of them throw in a bossa nova beat for good measure. This results in a depressing sameness about all the tracks. Diana is in a very precarious position here - jazz listeners will deride her for losing her roots, and cynical pop listeners can equally write her off as 'mushy elevator ...'.
Come back Diana, and bring Russell and Christian back with you. Leave the money men at home.
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on September 20, 2001
Let me begin by saying I'm a huge Diana Krall fan. I saw her performance in Santa Clara two months ago, which has gone down in my book as one of the top evenings of my life. She is an amazing musician. What concerns me are the decisions being made in the studio. These are my observations:
The Look Of Love-Karaoke. On most tracks it sounds as though she sang over a series of generic instrumentals. There exists little or no connection (counterpoint) between the music and her vocals. An unnatural amount of reverb in used on her voice. On several tracks, one must strain to hear what she is singing. Her fantastic piano playing is distant - almost hesitant. Selection of songs - questionable.
Why wouldn't an artist of this stature stick with the formula of her previous album? It worked so well. This is not a ground breaking, over the top, edgy effort. These are jazz standards. Stick with what works. Don't toy with the delicate nature of the craft.
I don't know why I get so wrapped up in these issues with Diana Krall, but i do. I had such high hopes.
lack·lus·ter (lklstr)
adj. Lacking brightness, luster, or vitality; dull.
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on September 20, 2001
Let me begin by saying I'm a huge Diana Krall fan. I saw her performance in Santa Clara two months ago, which has gone down in my book as one of the top evenings of my life. She is an amazing musician. What concerns me are the decisions being made in the studio. These are my observations:
The Look Of Love-Karaoke. On most tracks it sounds as though she sang over a series of generic instrumentals. There exists little or no connection (counterpoint) between the music and her vocals. An unnatural amount of reverb in used on her voice. On several tracks, one must strain to hear what she is singing. Her fantastic piano playing is distant - almost hesitant. Selection of songs - questionable.
Why wouldn't an artist of this stature stick with the formula of her previous album? It worked so well. This is not a ground breaking, over the top, edgy effort. These are jazz standards. Stick with what works. Don't toy with the delicate nature of the craft.
I don't know why I get so wrapped up in these issues with Diana Krall, but i do. I had such high hopes.
lack·lus·ter (lklstr)
adj. Lacking brightness, luster, or vitality; dull.
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on December 8, 2001
I don't like to make critical comments concerning music. But I cannot say anything positive about this release either.
I am familiar with the producers (Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt), who collaborated on many fine late 70's and 80's Jazz releases for Warner Bros. And Claus Ogerman is thrown into this mix to conduct the orchestration.
Marilyn Scott sang a rendition of "The Look of Love" which is the benchmark for todays torch singers. Buy her release. It is far superior for all of the contained songs.
This release is uninspired.
Ms. Krall sang a rendition of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" some years back (see my Listmania Lists here on Amazon for my terse review), that is simply incredible. Antithetical to this release--no comparison whatsoever to this vocalization. This release is made to sell the cover rather than the music: And this is a shame.
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on September 27, 2001
These days when Bossa Nova is making quite a comeback, I don't really mind if old artists want to join in and fine tune their creative musings to the sound of sexy cool music.
Unfortunately for Diana Krall, this does not look like one of her strengths. The orchestra dramatizes every song with sweeping intros and what-not whereas the heart of Bossa Nova is a Bongo and accompanied with classical guitar strings and the tempo is supposedly medium-slow as opposed to her downright slow and boring.
In my old favourites like 'Besame Mucho' she sung like she did not take Spanish in one of her foreign language classes whereas in 'The Look of Love' like she has just lost love instead of found it.
The thing here is slow, sweeping orchestration and a husky voice does not always equate sexy. I know she has talent but Diana needs to let it all come out and not 'try' that much.
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on January 13, 2003
I do think that Diana Krall is a talented musician. She has good taste in her musical selections. However, she is NOT a very good singer. Her voice is weak. Her diction is poor, and her phrasing is often sloppy and unimaginative.
I would consider the following women great singers: Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, Julie Andrews, and Barbra Streisand. These are artists whose voices are multi-octave. These gifted performers have the ability to exhibit power or subtlety consistently and appropriately. Their technical skills are immaculate (with the exception of Judy Garland in her later years when her substance abuse caused her to slur her words). These magnificent singers bring exceptional clarity, sophistication and originality to their interpretations of classic American pop songs. They can infuse the music with profound emotion.
Diana Krall's vocals are superficial and pedestrian in comparison. The quality of her voice is tenuous and inconsistent.
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on February 22, 2002
After "When I Look In Your Eyes", expectations for a follow up ran extremeley high. With its sultry bossa nova rythms, cool down-beat jazz sensibilities (the sort that would fit as easily into a James Bond film as it would fit at Carnegie Hall), "When I Look.." stands as a masterpiece of contemporary music.
So, when I learned that Diana Krall would be releasing her follow up CD in Singapore (with an invitation-only party at the famous Raffles Hotel on September 10, 2001), that only heightened the anticipation. While Singaporeans do not consider themselves "exotic", Singapore is rich with history -- ocean piracy, wars and conquest, commerce and trade, and [most recently] information & bio technology, to cite a few highlights. So in terms of melodrama, there was an aura of exotia surrounding this release. The song list on "Look Of Love" also promised a lot, and the release party concert performance was excellent (Singapore's main TV station was kind enough to broadcast it a month later).
But the "Look Of Love" CD itself is a dud.
The jazz is buried under languid over orchestration that makes cool jazz sound like bad classical music. THis isn't "torch singing", it tortured (or perhaps tortuous) singing.
While many songs start out with 20-30 seconds of strings, it often seems like several minutes. "S'Wonderful" and "Cry Me a River" start out promising (no strings), but are quickly demolished by the over-orchestration.
So, it is with some regret that I have to recommend that fans of jazz skip this CD and wait for future releases. Diana Krall needs to find a producer who understands what makes great jazz, and fire this one -- who thinks jazz needs to be murdered with mushy string overlays in order to make it "commercial". I'm not sure how much control Diana Krall has over her releases, but the mushy overlays of sweetening tracks is done so badly that I found myself questioning the technical, in addition to the aesthetic, competency of the producers & engineers.
THere is reason for optimism here. The song selection is strong, and underneath the layers and layers of sweetening tracks and all the faux-classical mush laid on top, the core jazz band still sounds solid. And then of course, there are Diana Krall's vocals, good as ever.
If this CD is "the Look of Love", then it's clear Love can be painful.
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on January 9, 2002
Diana Krall is a very talented artist, but "The Look of Love" is nothing new. This album shows no new design on the jazz world.
Krall is a big name due to her packaging. Her very good looks with the talent of an amazing voice which in my book is in the same league as Shuur, Horne or any of the other women jazz afficianados.
Kralls beauty is her beast. Though she is more commercially successful than her predecessors, she shows no soul in her music like Diane Shuur or Shirley Horne. Diana Krall is like Cindy Crawford in a way, she is there to put on a dress (jazz music) and make it look pretty.
Though a good album there is no new material or sound here that I haven't heard before. Diana Krall is all dressing and no depth.
She is the Britney Spears of the jazz world showing with her good looks and good voice that with mundane jazz music and proper packaging she can be a superstar....shame.
With the wonderful talents of Diane Shuur, Martha Wash, Jill Scott, and other female artists that don't get as much attention it is a pity we have to go as far as good artificial looks and pristine packaging to finally get this countrys attention on good music. i.e. Josh Groban who I think will be a opera superstar- but only with his youth and good looks will get the teen set to finally appreciate good opera music.
Shame that this country is so shallow. For Krall "The Look of Love" is basically "The Look of the Same Old Thing".
Nothing new, with a pretty face, a good voice trying to make some extra bucks for a record corporation.
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on December 30, 2001
After the immensely enjoyable "When I Look in Your Eyes" CD, I had high hopes and expectations for this highly-anticipated follow-up. Krall owes a lot to her "When I Look..." CD, which converted more fans to jazz and Krall than any of her previous ones. Imagine my surprise when I plopped "Look of Love" into my player. Has Diana or her producers been listening to Lawrence Welk??!! This CD lacks originality, purpose, or inspiration. It seems the record company was trying to cash in on one of their biggest cash cows!! I always thought Krall was one to play a bit too safe, but not THIS safe!! She should also fire her publicist for making her pose in that hooker outfit on the CD cover---what an atrocious picture!! I'm sorry to be getting down on Krall, but I'm sure as a fan, there are others like me who are very disappointed with this CD. What about her piano-playing, they don't even get one song to show off here---it's all muzak strings thru and thru.
Please, Diana, next time go back to your roots and come up with something more original----and please, put SOMETHING over that dress!!
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