Diana Krall slinks her silky voice through the seductive strains of bossa nova in this love letter to her husband, Elvis Costello.
Diana Krall: Quiet Nights
Maybe the wistful tone of this album's title is intentional, given that it's the first studio outing for Diana Krall since she gave birth to twin boys in 2006. But quiet it indeed is, for Krall whispers her way through the album's 10 tracks as if suffering from a bout of narcolepsy that might knock her out any minute. That's not to say the album is bad. True, it's mellow, and full of teasing "oohs" and "aahs", but it was always intended as a love letter to Krall's husband Elvis Costello. So this hushed, breathy tone is a nod to their romance. Seven of its 10 tracks are bossa novas; traditional Brazilian-style pieces arrangements dressed up with Krall's silky voice, string and piano backing. The hand of the arranger and composer Claus Ogerman is at work here - the German old-timer who helped Frank Sinatra crack samba back in the day. Highlights include You're My Thrill, an arrangement made so slow that an arthritic snail could outpace it, but calming all the same. And if you're a proper Krall fan, it's worth searching out the limited edition version of the album for the singer's yearning cover of the Bee Gees' How Can You Mend A Broken Heart. On the other hand, is there any need for the inclusion of another version of The Girl From Ipanema? There must be remote Amazonian tribes who can hum along to the track by this point. "I'm just doing better work because I'm more relaxed," said Krall in a recent interview in America to promote the album. Any more relaxed and her heart might simply cave in, but she is, as always, a wonderfully smooth listen.