on February 1, 2004
True jazz lovers argue that Krall only has reached such a high popularity, as she indeed has, thanks to a shrewd marketing. That argument could be used just as effectively on singers like Norah Jones. As for Krall, she has a soft and sexy voice that appeals to many mainstream listeners who aren't concerned so much about jazz and how she plays the piano.
The marketing people behind Diana Krall's music is of course tempted to polish and popularize the music as much as possible. As is seen at once when looking on the cover of _The Look Of Love_, this is what they have done. The album begins with S'Wonderful played with bossa nova rhytms and a laid back vocal. The whole album is actually very much inspired by bossa nova, which provides a romantic atmosphere - again suiting Krall's looks and voice and the many listeners.
On Krall's first albums, _Stepping Out_, _Only Trust Your Heart_, and _All For You_, the romantic atmosphere is somewhat missing. The marketing wasn't so much aware of her commercial oppertunities that they regulated her own sound. The albums as a result sound more raw, resulting in more piano from Krall and more jazz-like compositions and atmosphere. What i miss, though, when hearing her earlier work, is exactly what _The Look Of Love_ has to offer: the richness of the sound, the polished sound quality, the not so jazz-like songs etc. The intro on I Get Along Without You Very Well for instance, is beautiful and heartbreaking. So is all other songs on the album. I understand people's objections to Krall's music, but at the same time I feel that the music is gripping, moving, meaningful and whatever words there is to express good music.
on April 8, 2004
I think it may be a bit of a shame this album is in the "jazz" catagory, for although Diana Krall may be a "jazz artist", on this miraculous CD she simply a singer of standards.... she has style, but (thank God), she sings these songs without destroying or molesting the lyric or melody that so many artists are prone to do today. THE SONGS are the stars on this album, not the "stylings" of a "diva"... how refreshing that is! These songs are not for those with limited attention spans who must have a driving beat and an occasional yelp or cry from the vocalist... these songs are for those who know how to listen and hear truly great orchestrations from veterans like Claus Ogerman (who orchestrated the most mellow of all Frank Sinatra's albums "Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim" in the 1960s).. and this album is a tribute to that very sound. This album is lush, romantic, beautifully crafted and sensuous.. it is for a night of romance and for decompression from the traffic and noise of everyday life. I hope Ms. Krall will give us more albums like this masterpiece. TOP musicians, superbly crafted arrangements and a clear and clean vocalist who respects lyric, melody and emotion make this clearly a 5 star masterwork in every respect.
on September 28, 2003
After the first listen to this album, I was a goner. It was on a romantic weekend with my wife, and the luxury hotel we stayed at had put the disc in the room, a wise choice for both their business and the guest's contentment. The fluid, sensual flow of Diana's croon sweeps you up, gently massages away thoughts of the hard world of concrete and clocks, melts your anxieties and woes, and lulls you on its gentle, swaying stream of steamy, lush vocal waters into a soft and sultry place in your heart. One classic song after another is made fresh, each one so delicious that at the end you're thinking, "More, I want more." The only possible complaint about this disc is that is finally does come to an end. After the last smooth, lazy note has stopped vibrating in your mind, your next thought is "I hope she has more albums." Luckily, there are some -- and I made sure I got them too. This album is a charmer, a favorite, a "can't-possibly-go-wrong" musical purchase, an enduring pleasure, and a classic in its own right.
Following the success of her two previous albums, Love scenes and When I look in your eyes, Diana recorded another album in similar style. It doesn't quite make the same impact, but that may be due to raised expectations because this is still a high quality album.
Diana has once again selected songs from the Great American Songbook to fill the album, though this time she also has included a sixties song, The look of love, which was a hit for Dusty Springfield, and a fifties song, Cry me a river, which was a hit for Julie London.
S'wonderful was originally a top five American hit in 1928 for the long-forgotten Frank Crumit. Love letters was a hit for its writer, Dick Haymes, in 1946, but only really became popular when Ketty Lester covered it in the sixties and had a huge international hit with it. Elvis Presley and Alison Moyet have also had huge hits with their covers. I remember you is another 1940's song that waited for the sixties to gain popularity, this time via a Frank Ifield cover.
Diana sings these songs as well as anybody, and also plays piano on all tracks. However, all tracks feature either the London symphony orchestra or the Los Angeles session orchestra, so Diana does not get the chance to show just what she can do with a piano.
This is a wonderful album that confirms Diana as the leading jazz lady in the world today.
on March 27, 2003
Krall is close to defining the mood of late night cool. She's become extremely popular over the last few years... largely in part due to THIS album. It is slick and well produced; perhaps a bit over-produced. This album is not about a singer and her piano, and 3 bandmates backing her up. This album is about rich textures and many helping hands. If you ask me, there are too many orchestra and string arrangements in the background taking away from Krall's wonderful piano playing... as well as the rest of the band (McBride on bass, Erskine on drums, and Malone on guitar). My favorite releases from Krall are still "Love Scenes" and "All For You". Her "Live In Paris" release is excellent too. This disc is very good and it can easily grow on most 30-somethings or 40-somethings looking for something other than rock or country to please their ears. It's immediately likable. It's silky smooth, fresh & ready-to-go, party perfect jazz. LOOK OF LOVE gets a high score due to it having a few of my favorite tunes redone beautifully by Krall & Co... "S'Wonderful", "Cry Me A River", "The Look Of Love" and "The Night We Called It A Day".
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.
on January 7, 2003
I've read a lot of reviews on this CD and absolutely no one has bothered to acknowledge the obvious: a popular singer needs to surround themselves with great arrangers. After all, that's what Sinatra did. Unlike other comments I've read on this particular album, I'm here to state that the bulk of this album has Diana Krall not performing with a small group, but instead in a lush setting with a full string orchestra which delivers some sexy and sultry bossa nova arrangements. These arrangements could have only been written by the master of such arrangements, Claus Ogerman. Just listen to those extended endings on "Love Letters" and "Dancing in the Dark" if you want to hear arranging and musicality at its finest.
There have been critics who have panned the arrangements of "S'Wonderful" and "Besame Mucho" as not new because Claus also used them (to great success) on Joao Gilberto's "Amoroso" album in 1977. Still, Diana has put her own mark on these songs even though they are the same orchestral arrangements Claus did several decades ago. They are absolutely timeless, so nothing about either track sounds dated.
There simply isn't much not to like on this album if you are 1) a fan of Diana Krall; 2) a fan of bossa nova; 3) a fan of fine musical standards and 4) a fan of Claus Ogerman.
Diana did a very smart thing in wanting to work with Claus and have him do the arrangements for this album. It's to her credit and thanks to her excellent judgment, she may have just introduced a whole new audience and even a couple of generations to the talents of Mr. Ogerman.
on November 13, 2002
I have to speak up. This is not my favorite Diana Krall album, and - with all due respect to Bruce Weber - I'm a little put off by the photographic overkill in this CD package. But, big deal - so someone had a funky idea about how she should be marketed - it's been done since the earth cooled - and it makes her no less an artist.
As for Diana Krall's musical talent, I don't see how it can be questioned. She has a style, and she interprets music within that style. Her melodic and lyrical sensitivity is amazing, her rhythmic sense is impeccable, AND she's doing all this while plunking out some very tasty stuff on the keys...
Jazz is every bit as much about the silence between the notes as it is about the notes. If Diana Krall isn't the singer you want her to be, music fan, then listen to Sinatra sustain his notes (which he does very nicely) and get off her case.
Right now, I'd rather gear down and listen to an artist giving me consistently lush, complex and textured interpretations of great music. This album gives me that in spades - "S'Wonderful", "I Remember You" and "Dancing in the Dark" are particularly delicious.
on November 9, 2002
Most of the reason, I suppose, that I'm as frustrated as I am with this album is that I really LIKE Diana Krall. Unfortunately, however, she seems to lack whatever is necessary to make most of the songs on this album worth even trying to listen to. In some cases, it's a lack of playfulness. In others, it's a lack of saucy attitude. In general, it's a sad lack of enthusiasm, resulting in a generally dead, monotonous collection of songs. It can certainly be relaxing, but if I weren't paying close attention, I might take the album for one incredibly long, slow song instead of the ten that it is.
I found "S'Wonderful," "I Remember You," and "I Get Along Without You Very Well" almost painful to listen to. They're just sung in such a dead-pan manner that they almost seem like a parody of themselves. I think she does adequately well on songs like "Cry Me A River," "Besame Mucho," "Maybe You'll Be There," and "The Look of Love." The diffference is subtle, but I think she's considerably more emotive in these tracks than she is in most of the others.
Over all, I agree with other reviewers that it's time for Krall to snap out of her daze and put a little more passion and attitude in her songs.
on November 1, 2002
Those who do not know Diana Krall's music but have happened onto this album for whatever reason are in for a treat. And please be advised, you decidedly do not have to be a jazz enthusiast to enjoy and appreciate "The Look of Love," on which the inimitable Krall reinvents such standards as "S'Wonderful," "I Remember You" and "Cry Me A River," among others.
Krall is something of an anomaly in her field; acoustic-oriented jazz musicians do not generally have albums that go platinum and gold, nor do most have the kind of following that sells out the larger auditoriums and venues night after night, as she did in Paris in November/December, 2001, during her four shows at the Olympia. She's played the Lilith Fair and topped the billboard charts twice, the first time in 2000 with her album, "When I Look In Your Eyes," (which also landed her a Grammy nomination for Best Album of the Year, putting her in competition with such diverse artists as Santana, The Backstreet Boys, TLC and The Dixie Chicks), and most recently with this unforgettable collection.
By the time you've listened to this album for the first time, you'll understand how Krall has made such an impact on the music scene during the past ten years. The pianist/vocalist has an earthy quality in her sultry, magnificent voice that will keep you in thrall song after song, with the kind of music that seems to fill you up inside. The influence of artists who have preceded her are apparent in her style, most notably Carmen McRae, Nat "King" Cole, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and even Joni Mitchell and Sting, and yet her sound is her own; without question, Diana Krall is unique-- jazz's top selling vocalist, a crossover phenom who has remained faithful to her bop/swing roots, successfully incorporating the kind of music she loves into the musical impressions that have taken her to the top of the charts and generated a solid and ever-increasing base of loyal fans.
This is the kind of music that transcends generations or category; the kind that sooner or later will entice even the die-hard heavy metal/rap crowd, because this is music that will stop you in your tracks and tie up traffic. For a real experience, kick back in the dark, put on "The Look of Love" and just listen. It's transporting; and once you emerge from Krall's spell, you'll find that your world will forever be a bit sweeter. And a whole lot brighter.