Album review: Diana Krall – Wallflower
Another week, another music heavyweight turns in a syrupy covers album.
Hot on the heels of Bob Dylan’s Shadows in the Night comes this, Diana Krall’s collection of reimagined modern classics, mainly drawn from the 1960s and 1970s.
The most interesting thing about 50-year-old Krall is that she’s not only a jazz singer, but a thoroughly competent pianist, too. Here, however, she steps away from the keys and ditches the jazz, instead calling on her label boss, the 16-time Grammy-winner David Foster, to bathe these 12 tracks in an easy-listening, “standards-album” sheen. The effect sanitises, sucking the generation-defining edge from the anthems California Dreamin’ and Don’t Dream It’s Over.
Wallflower will attract attention thanks to guest vocals from fellow Canadians Bryan Adams on Randy Newman’s Feel Like Home, and Michael Bublé on Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Again (Naturally). But more interesting is the title track, a kooky, nursery rhyme-like Dylan offcut, and If I Take You Home Tonight, a stark, unreleased Paul McCartney ballad left over from 2012’s Kisses to the Bottom, on which Krall backed the former Beatle on piano.