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Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson – Break Up

2009-12-26 06:19
Break Up

And then you get the Paris Hiltons… who can neither sing, nor act, nor even display any tell-tale humanoid signs of having a personality of their own.

So this somewhat theatrical singer-songwriter album by sometimes-soundtrack-writer Peter Yorn and mostly-actress Scarlett Johansson is a breath of fresh air – conceptually at least – merely because it features two people stretching themselves artistically. And Scarlett may have recorded her vocals quickly (according to Wiki, in two afternoon sessions) but anyone who claims they can tell is being worse than pretentious. She must have prepared very thoroughly for the recording. Sure, the vocals are not the most intensive (even a little bland at times) but that’s all in line with the relaxed, almost chatty approach these two are taking.

This isn't a big deal. Just an album by two people playing the part of lovers who sit back after the chips have fallen, the hearts have broken and say: "well, this is my story… what's yours?”"

Both of Scarlett and Pete sound a bit depressed, a little exhausted, and pretty empty – as anyone would after losing love. None of the songs stand out much, lyrically or musically. But each one helps to tell the story in this elegant, tasteful little middle-of-the-road musical role play. Scarlett steps up to the mic better than expec ted, and Pete plays his part. The result is no Gainsbourg for the New Millennium, but it's definitely worth a listen.

Celebrity artists have become so very specialist. You get the actors who only play particular kinds of roles, the singers who have this unique vocal style that would never have been considered singing at all 5 years ago, the actors who clearly took it deeply to heart when Mom said "Just be yourself, dear".

What to read next: Kalahari
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