Volume 95, Issue 27

Friday, October 19, 2001
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Boo! Creatures found lurking in The Black Lodge

Square Root of who?

Diana Krall's Love needs to be Spiritualized

Gazette Comics

Diana Krall's Love needs to be Spiritualized

Diana Krall
The Look Of Love


Two 1/2 stars (out of five)

Jazz standard (noun) – a classic jazz piece that, regardless of performer, still has all the flare of the original.

Diana Krall's past records of jazz standards, have been impeccable but on her newest album, The Look Of Love, she doesn't measure up to her past work.

Her voice seems almost unenthusiastic, while the album boasts only one standout track.

Choosing to stick to the theme of love throughout all ten tracks, only two messages are portrayed over the course of the entire album: love is great and love was great.

"S'Wonderful," an Ira and George Gershwin composition, opens up the recording. With the aid of a small session orchestra, Krall sets a slow pace followed throughout the entire album.

Although Krall has one of music's most soothing voices, her version of Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis' "The Look of Love" doesn't compare to her earlier recordings.

The London Symphony Orchestra backs Krall, yet their effort goes almost unnoticed. The result is a relaxing song accentuated by Krall's solos, both on vocals and on piano.

Using the orchestra in a much more effective way, "Dancing in the Dark" is another tender ballad. Krall's vocals are minimal, giving it an overly instrumental feel. As a result, the listener may be more inclined to go to sleep than dance.

The track – "Besame Mucho" – sticks out from the rest, not because it is considerably better than the others, but because it is in Spanish.

This album is the perfect background music for a romantic evening, but with no solid standout tracks or surprises, Krall's sixth album just doesn't live up to her past accomplishments.

–Stephen Libin

Let It Come Down

Arista Records

Four stars (out of five)

One of the year's most hotly anticipated releases, Let It Come Down, is Spiritualized's first studio album since 1997's critically acclaimed Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space.

The music world has since become filled with space-rock bands and Spiritualized find themselves competing with the same bands they helped inspire. Sigur Ros, Grandaddy, Amp and Mercury Rev are among the present bands competing for the title of the modern-day Pink Floyd.

Spiritualized has dipped into gospel before, but never to the same degree as they do on this record.

"Lord Can You Hear Me?" transforms from a lengthy Elton John rip-off to an emotional epic. In a similar vein, "Stop Your Crying" becomes a moving number, peaking with loud orchestration.

Not only are gospel and orchestration added on this album, but Let It Come Down subtly expresses the lyrics to create a unified sound.

The opening track – "On Fire" – gains intensity as the song rolls along, giving the album a momentum that never stops.

But Spiritualized know when to restrain themselves. Much of "Don't Just Do Something" is sparse, but remains effective because the music is reflective of the emotions evoked by the pleading, soul-searching lyrics.

Unfortunately, the album lacks ambition and thorough musical evolution. While gospel choruses and orchestration are strong additions, they don't amount to incredible stylistic improvements.

Still, Spiritualized has continued their run of quality space-rock compelations and Let It Come Down stands to be one of the year's most satisfying albums.

–Jordan Smith

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Copyright The Gazette 2001