Girl in the Other Room

Girl in the Other Room

3.5 26
by Diana Krall

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The Girl in the Other Room reveals two new things about Diana Krall. One: that her interpretive repertoire is expanding. Two: that, in collaboration with her husband, Elvis Costello, Krall has discovered her inner singer-songwriter. Both directions signal good news. Where Krall had built a career by delving deeply into the work of the classic Great American…  See more details below


The Girl in the Other Room reveals two new things about Diana Krall. One: that her interpretive repertoire is expanding. Two: that, in collaboration with her husband, Elvis Costello, Krall has discovered her inner singer-songwriter. Both directions signal good news. Where Krall had built a career by delving deeply into the work of the classic Great American Songbook composers of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, she’s now setting her sights on more contemporary figures, including Mose Allison (“Stop This World”), Tom Waits (“Temptation”), Chris Smither (“Love Me like a Man”), Joni Mitchell (“Black Crow”), and Costello (“Almost Blue”) -- although, in truth, the most recent of these tunes, “Temptation,” is nearly 20 years old. To her credit, Krall injects as much individuality into these reinterpretations -- her blues singing has become noticeably confident and assured -- as she did on the work of more hallowed composers. “I’m Pulling Through,” made famous by Billie Holiday and given a quality reading by Krall, is the album’s only standard. The six original tunes reveal a more personal approach. With Krall handling the music and Costello adding his input to the lyrics, the two work up songs that share an unexpected but winning blend of Joni Mitchell’s unconventional melodicism and Costello’s sharp and literate lyrical concerns. The obviously personal nature of the work -- the theme of change, its difficulties and potentials, pervades these songs -- allows us a closer look at an artist whose cool approach to her material has often kept her audience at arm’s length. Obviously influenced by her husband's artistry as both a composer and vocalist, Krall’s phrasing on the new tunes at times reflects Costello’s inimitable delivery, but Krall has nonetheless found her own distinct voice as a singer-songwriter. With The Girl in the Other Room she gives notice that the future promises pleasant surprises.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
While the jazz fascists (read: purists) may be screaming "sellout" because Diana Krall decided to record something other than standards this time out, the rest of us can enjoy the considerable fruit of her labors. The Girl in the Other Room is, without question, a jazz record in the same manner her other outings are. The fact that it isn't made up of musty and dusty "classics" may irk the narrow-minded and reactionary, but it doesn't change the fact that this bold recording is a jazz record made with care, creativity, and a wonderfully intimate aesthetic fueling its 12 songs. Produced by Tommy LiPuma and Krall, the non-original material ranges from the Mississippi-fueled jazzed-up blues of Mose Allison's "Stop This World" to contemporary songs that are reinvented in Krall's image by Tom Waits ("Temptation"), Joni Mitchell ("Black Crow"), Chris Smither ("Love Me Like a Man"), and her husband, Elvis Costello ("Almost Blue"). These covers are striking. Krall's read of Allison's tune rivals his and adds an entirely different shade of meaning, as does her swinging, jazzy, R&B-infused take on Smither's sexy nugget via its first hitmaker, Bonnie Raitt. Her interpretation of Waits' "Temptation" is far more sultry than Holly Cole's because Krall understands this pop song to be a jazz tune rather than a jazzy pop song. "Black Crow" exists in its own space in the terrain of the album, because Krall understands that jazz is not mere articulation but interpretation. Likewise, her reverent version of Costello's "Almost Blue" takes it out of its original countrypolitan setting and brings it back to the blues. As wonderful as these songs are, however, they serve a utilitarian purpose; they act as bridges to the startling, emotionally charged poetics in the material Krall has composed with Costello. Totaling half the album, this material is full of grief, darkness, and a tentative re-emergence from the shadows. It begins in the noir-ish melancholy of the title track, kissed with bittersweet agony by Gershwin's "Summertime." The grain in Krall's pained voice relates an edgy third-person tale that is harrowing in its lack of revelation and in the way it confounds the listener; it features John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums. In "I've Changed My Address," Krall evokes the voices of ghosts such as Louis Armstrong and Anita O'Day in a sturdy hip vernacular that channels the early beat jazz of Waits and Allison. The lyric is solid and wonderfully evocative not only of time and place, but of emotional terrain. Krall's solo in the tune is stunning. "Narrow Daylight," graced by gospel overtones, is a tentative step into hope with its opening line: "Narrow daylight enters the room, winter is over, summer is near." This glimmer of hope is short-lived, however, as "Abandoned Masquerade" reveals the shattered promise in the aftermath of dying love. "I'm Coming Through" and "Departure Bay," which close the set, are both underscored by the grief experienced at the loss of Krall's mother. They are far from sentimental, nor are they sophomoric, but through the eloquence of Krall's wonderfully sophisticated melodic architecture and rhythmic parlance they express the experience of longing, of death, and of acceptance. The former features a beautiful solo by guitarist Anthony Wilson and the latter, in its starkness, offers memory as reflection and instruction. This is a bold new direction by an artist who expresses great willingness to get dirt on her hands and to offer its traces and smudges as part and parcel of her own part in extending the jazz tradition, through confessional language and a wonderfully inventive application that is caressed by, not saturated in, elegant pop.

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Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Diana Krall   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Terri Lyne Carrington   Drums
Peter Erskine   Drums
Jeff Hamilton   Drums
John Clayton   Bass
Neil Larsen   Hammond Organ
Christian McBride   Bass
Anthony Wilson   Guitar

Technical Credits

Chris Smither   Composer
Elvis Costello   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Bonnie Raitt   Composer,Adaptation
Tom Waits   Composer
Mose Allison   Composer
Arthur Herzog   Composer
Tommy LiPuma   Producer
Schmitt   Engineer
Diana Krall   Composer,Producer
Donna Ranieri   Photo Production
Hollis King   Art Direction
Steve Genewick   Pro-Tools
D Hunter   Back Cover
Irene Kitchings   Composer

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The Girl in the Other Room 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A new direction for the girl who is known for interpretating standards and evoking memories. This time we get a glimpse into her soul as she shares original songs, and breathes life into others. "The Girl In The Other Room" lives up to the listener's anticipation and is sincere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The album is full of meloncoly songs. Need some up beat songs in the album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of D.K. since I first heard her excellent renditions of old classics on previous cd releases. I was truly expecting to be disappointed with this effort given Krall's association with Costello (never been much for him)and the fact that 6 tunes are fairly "new" remakes and 6 tunes are collaborative creations between Krall and Costello. Krall has always seemed to me at her best when whooping through a snappy standard. I was pleasantly surprised however, and more than a little emotional when I listened my way through very eagerly - several times in a row. The material is mature, beautiful, bold, fresh but not light or pop-like. Blues, gospel, country, jazz interpretation, and even a little rock n roll blend to create serious tunes. Is this less than jazz for its variety, innovations, and texture? No way. Isn't jazz all about change, growth, emotion, and technical mastery? If so, Krall accomplishes each with grace and a large sense of fun. The darker songs allow a closer look at Krall the person underneath Krall the musician. Lovely and worthwhile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are two songs that jump out as the old Diana Krall, but for the most part this recording is dull. You can pick the two songs once you listen to it. As a huge fan of hers I was very disappointed with this CD. It sounded like she was bored for the most part. Her format differs here as her husband Elvis Costello must have influenced her arrangements. I'm not an Elvis Costello fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Definitely not the Diana Krall we've heard before. The CD has potential, but dies off quickly. Very dull to say the least. If I had one word to describe it - BORING!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Krall is amazing! The lyrics, deep and emotional, not spappy--revealing. The first time I heard Krall moved me. I stopped the VCR tape, and played her again, fast forwarded to the credits and have been a fan ever since. We hear a new voice, from Krall the music expresses lost love & new love and wakens a part of her that will create an even broader audience!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Her albums have never disappointed me. While this album is not disappointing in quality or charm, I feel like I'm listening to a female Costello's album. And IMHO her singing style has gotten more feminine; the opposite of the trait I used to like her for. People who begin Diana Krall with this album will probably like the new albums to come. However, I believe old fan of hers might want to listen to the tracks before purchasing the album. Solid work, regardless. It's just a matter of taste.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Diana was spectacular in the world of the standards, as in "When I Look in Your Eyes" and "The Look of Love." I'm not one that believes that change was needed, but this is change that adds to her versitality. If you crave Gershwin and Porter, you won't find it here. But as for the jazz world with the continued greatness we call "Diana Krall", this album is in line with the art of her singing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a big Krall fan. However, this CD was a big disappointment to me. Not one song gets my toes tapping like her previous CDs. I like a good blue jazzy song every once and awhile, but not every sing song on the CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Such a great voice. On certain songs reminds me of Peggy Lee, sultry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is late at night and I'm listening to A Girl In the Other Room and I can barely stay awake. I have all of Diana Krall's CDs - some I play round the clock - others I never play. This latest CD will sadly fall into the latter category. While her voice is absolutely fabulous, the songs are lifeless, draggy and horribly unattractive. I have tickets to see Diana on June 20 - I hope she sings her "regular" bill of fare and none of these songs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must just say, I have been a Krall fan since she started! She is probably my all-time favourite! However, most artist start their rubbish and experimental drivvel at some time, and I am afraid that Elvis Costello should stick to his own music and not try influence Diana Krall - the most disappointing album this year! I hate to admit it, but if I had to make a Choice, it would not be this album! Sorry Diana, please go back to the basics!!! Avoid Elvis Costello in the studio! WHAT IS ALL THE HYPE ABOUT - this is not your finest hour by any means - the back of the CD Rack in the OTHER ROOM the album goes. PLEASE GO BACK!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Her voice is in top form and it's always a joy to listen to her changes over time. Diana Krall is the consumate musician and singer. But, in this album, her songs are way too much alike, with very similar tempos and sentiments. She co-produced it, so it is evident that she's responsible. The downfall of the album is that it quickly becomes background. Too bad--her audience deserves a better mix.
Guest More than 1 year ago
sorry but i thought it would be better its okay but it needs a LOT of work thanx!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Girl in the Other Room' represents a foray by the musically gifted Diana Krall into new territory. Surrounded by a cohesive group of consummate musicians, Ms. Krall delivers yet another sublime vocal and instrumental performance. The music on this CD, a skillfully blended collage of mostly blues and jazz compositions that defy classification, is intelligent, sensitive and a little melancholy in nature with a subtleness and complexity that allow for greater exploration and appreciation with each successive listen. Among other times, this is great music for mellowing out a blue mood or sharpening a reflective one. Ms. Krall's style, unique in its expression and intonation, with her characteristic sultry elegance and exquisite sense of patience, timing and restraint, is a perfect match for this music. Understandably this CD may be a disappointment for those hoping for more of her classical interpretations, but will be a sheer delight for those open to innovation and creativity and is sure to attract many new listeners. It may well become a classic in its own right.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally, Diana Krall resists the pressure to dumb down her work to appeal to the masses. In your face, straight-ahead jazz with a rare, vulnerable beauty....sultry need for the pretty exterior. Fabulous concert in Columbus. What a talent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been an enthusiastic fan of Diana Krall for over 2 years. I first took notice of her when my best friend was playing "The Look of Love". I happen to be a great fan of Antonio Carlos Jobim's music (Samba and Bossa Nova) and Diana's "Look" album had this very lush orchestral sound with the romantic and alluring beat. The distinctive string treatments, woodwinds and etherial sound were coupled with her sexy, low, bittersweet voice coming through ... it was amazing. I have since purchased 4 other Krall albums and did not hesitate to grab hold of this one. Every one of her previous albums are polished, immensely musical and fascinating. Like thousands of other fans, I waited for MONTHS and MONTHS for her to release her next album. This new CD was the reward I got for all that waiting. I cannot tell you how very disappointed I was when I put this on my CD player. Firstly, I was amazed at how amateur it sounded... almost as if it were an average woman singing in a local karaoke bar setting... nothing remotely special. On "The Girl in the Other Room", Diana sings some popular tunes written by Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt, and Tom Waites, and while she does okay with the songs, every one of them get a better performance and more interesting arrangements by their original artist. The real disappointment on this disc are the original songs (which is the greater part of the CD) written by Krall and her new husband Elvis Costello. Typical of Costellos style, the lyrics ramble with esoteric messages, and become totally self-absorbed expressions of his "inner feelings", or in this case "Diana's inner feelings" aka: complaints, regrets and laments. Goodness, I can enjoy great blues by talented singer, but my friends, this ain't the blues! An engaging melody on any of them is difficult to find here, and it seems these tunes were written within a limited range to make them much easier to sing. In fact, I would be more apt to call these compositions "prose set to random notes" than real songs. Worse, Diana's has very clearly tried to mask her classic clear and sultry style to a whisper peppered with occasional growling utterences. Something that sounds somehow artificial and "put on" for her. Her improvised piano playing is actually far better than her voice on this one, but there is not enough musicianship and too much of the vocal ramblings to get through to in order to hear anything musical in the background. This CD does not speak to her fans, it speaks to Elvis Costello. This is THEIR album for THEIR own gratification. The simple fact is that this CD is dull, redundant and frankly very depressing in scope. Diana can do far better than this hogepodge.... and just because she is Diana Krall does not mean every album is going to be a winner... unfortunately for her fans, this CD proves it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I tried and tried and tried to like it, but I just can't. Elvis...oops...Diana, I mean, just seems to stumble and ramble over lyrics that seem to have been shoved into the melody. Diana: I want you back! I'll wait until you come to your senses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one fantastic CD!! I noticed Diana Krall a couple of years ago with her renditions of old standards, but that only goes so far. This CD is a great addition to her catalog. I also think it has some of the best "sounding" music I have heard on any CD. He voice is simple and pure with a live quality and piano is set forward like it should be. This is a recording that would make any audiophile happy. I have noticed most reviewers that don’t like this CD just want more of the same from this great artist; tough. This is new new stuff, not pop, not jazz or blues just the best of the three styles. I hope for another venture into Diana’s musical diversity on her next CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If this CD enjoys financial sucess, it will only be because (like me ), thousands of Diana Krall fans bought the thing with well-founded anticipation of another example of her unquestionable genius. Unfortunately, this offering features compositions by Elvis Costello that ( typical of his generation ) have absolutely no value in the repertoire. Elvis Costello has not contributed one meaningful piece of music in his entire career, and none can fe found here. A huge disappointment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is bar none my favourite of Diana's albums - though I have and enjoy all, with the exception of Look of Love... It does suffer somewhat in the lack of swing department, but the quality of the material makes up for it. Some truly touching songs to be found here, with heartfelt performances, which shine even more brightly in concert. I must say I'm somewhat disappointed she's back to albums full of straight-ahead love songs (From This Moment On), though I'm sure it will be a wonderfully swinging production. Can't wait to hear more original Diana/Elvis pieces though, they truly are gems.
Guest More than 1 year ago
while i enjoy all of diana krall's work, i always like when an artist attempts to expand and grow. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. girl in the other room works wondefully. when diana sings the standards that we all know and love, i sit back, relax and rest in the familiarity of the tunes and melodies. listening to the girl in the other room, i'm taken out of myself and am totally absorbed in the music. do another album like this diana.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Only Live in Paris is better or as good. Great backing and incredibly well produced. Lets have more of it and soon. Temtation, Departure Bay and Stop this world, among the best but I love them all. Keep playing the piano!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago