Scarlett Johansson covers Jeff Buckley this time

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Scarlett Johansson, 24, kind of ruined our high opinion of her by releasing an album of Tom Waits covers last spring. The album was lauded by some critics and panned by others, and most of you commented that you didn’t like it. Waits’ music is an acquired taste, and Scarlett’s version just fell flat for me and I couldn’t get into her breathy, monotone, nasal songs. Just when she was starting to grow on me again, Scarlett has recorded a cover of the late Jeff Buckley’s classic “Last Goodbye,” which will be featured on the soundtrack to her upcoming movie He’s Just Not That Into You. It’s better than her earlier efforts, which isn’t saying much. You can hear the song at Stereogum as I couldn’t find it yet in an embeddable format.

I love Jeff Buckley and I had his CD Grace on heavy rotation before his accidental drowning in 1997. It just makes me cringe to hear Johansson cover “Last Goodbye”. She has the kind of voice that probably wouldn’t even make it through the first round on American Idol despite her beauty. Some will undoubtedly like this song, but with so many other talented singers out there, why should we be subjected to this? Johansson has the film He’s Just Not That Into You coming out next week and she should focus on that instead of muddying the waters with another single. After shis she’s hopefully shelving her music ambitions to focus on either acting or directing, which she’s also expressed an interest in. With so many other talents, why does Scarlett also think she can sing? Some, like MSat, will say that she can’t act either.

Scarlett Johansson is shown at the premiere of The Spirit on 12/17/08. Credit: WENN

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14 Responses to “Scarlett Johansson covers Jeff Buckley this time”

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  1. Mairead says:

    Completely unrelated, but I think that’s a lovely dress on her, it makes her look in proportion and the pale colour doesn’t make her look washed out (Angelina!).

    I’ll listen to it this evening, but I did like the Falling Down single. Besides, it couldn’t be as bad as the drivel that makes its way onto some soundtracks, especially the end-credits. (Every-bloody-thing I Do by Brian Adams)

    I don’t see why actors can’t release records or singers can’t act if they have a talent in it and the material is good – most people with a creative talent are probably proficient in a related discipline. Like Harry Connick Jr for example.

    Up to 45 years ago in Hollywood, you needed to be able to sing, dance and act to ensure that you got employed. Even Marlon Brando was in “Guys n Dolls” and Frank Sinatra’s longevity was because he was a good actor as well as singer.

  2. rbsesq says:

    I must agree with Msat on this CB. When I read your statement about her “so many other talents” I almost spewed soup all over my monitor. I wouldn’t say she’s a terrible actress, but she’s certainly not anywhere close to being good. And she’ll certainly never be great.

    She does look lovely in that dress.

  3. MoJo says:

    I kind of hate Scarlett Johansson. A lot. From most of her roles and that Tom Waits cover album. But she does win me over a few times, like in Vicky Cristina Barcelona in which she played a pseudo-artsy young woman. (I wonder how she managed to pull that off!) And I will admit that I think she has a decent enough voice and a style I actually like and envy, and I enjoyed her cover of “Summertime.” She’s not too bad in this either.

    But that doesn’t mean I think she should try this singing thing ever, ever, ever, EVER again.

  4. Amy says:

    You know what she should cover next? Her face.

  5. L says:

    Oh, horrible! That is just awful. Given that it is one of my favorite songs and Jeff Buckley was one of my favorite artists, I might not be the most objective on her talent, but she just killed that (not in a good way). I agree Mairead, Harry Conick is a great example of an artist who is both a talented actor and a talented singer, I could see him being successful at one or the other exclusively….Scarlett Johansson would NEVER be a successful singer, or even given the opportunity, had she not been successful in acting first. Yuck. Her rendition of Last Goodbye really pisses me off.

  6. Bodhi says:

    I love her to death, but I wish she’d leave Jeff Buckley alone

  7. layla says:

    Jeff Buckley has the voice of an angel.
    Grace is STILL on heavy rotation at my house to this day – one of the best albums (Debut at that!) of all time.

    I cant believe the Buckley estate would allow this.

    Makes me sad.

  8. layla says:

    OK – I just listened to her version.

    The beauty&genius of Jeff Buckley is the passion that he brings and conveys through every minuscule part of his music. The lyrics, his voice, the guitar, even his deep breathes….

    Scarlett’s version is just vapid and empty.

  9. Trillion says:

    This reminds me of Lohan re-doing Marilyn’s last photo shoot. Why invite this kind of comparison? Who could ever, ever touch Jeff Buckley? Certainly not her. Sorry kid, your career is based on what’s in your bra.

  10. Cha Cha says:

    I was livid before I even heard the song when I read on another site about this.. then I listened to it.

    #1 Jeff Buckley is an artist you simply do not touch or attempt to cover. The audacity that she thinks she could pull it off is mind-boggling and shows how full of herself she really is.

    #2 She must be taking voice lessons, because this time around, her voice isn’t horrendous. HOWEVER, the arrangement for this song is ATROCIOUS and her wannabe jazzy voice is flat and without feeling.

    I don’t think a cover of a song has pissed me off so much since Godsmack’s cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad times.”

    Leave the legends alone.

  11. Granger says:

    I’m being melodramatic, but dammit, Jeff Buckley was one of the greatest musicians/artists to ever grace the planet. We listen to his music all the time — even my four year old sings along. His cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.

    So I know I’m biased, but I just don’t think Scarlett could ever do him or his music justice.

  12. Jill-e-b says:

    @ Amy – I was going to say she should cover her mouth next, but I like your idea as well.

    If she wasn’t a cleavage-bearing movie star, no one would have bought her first album. You could find five people in any grocery store capable of singing better than Scarlett.

  13. kaligula says:

    @ Amy: love it!!!!!! thanks for the laugh-out-loud.

  14. pixiegirl says:

    I guess I wouldn’t mind her singing so much if she would just sing her own thing. She just comes across to me as a perpetual knockoff. She’s sorta a butchie version of Marilyn and now she’s covering someone else’s music. Can’t she just do her own thing?