I’m a big fan of Diana Krall. I’ve been anticipating this new album, Wallflower, for some time now It was originally scheduled to be released last fallm but Diana became severely ill and had to cancel her fall tour and post-pone the release date to February 3, 2015. Thankfully, she has recovered from pneumonia and was able to restart her promotional tour and meet the February date. The deluxe version of the CD, containing “exclusive” tracks, arrived in my mailbox 2 days later. With great eagerness, I hit the play button and settled back to be thrilled.
On first listen, I was a little disappointed. I couldn’t really say why. It just didn’t seem like the Diana Krall I’d loved so much in the past.
I listened again..and again. I came to like the album, but never to love it. Every song is well crafted, though the use of strings and orchestra can be a little heavy-handed for my tastes. And these are some GREAT songs. The whole thing just seems flat and lifeless. The music is beautiful, the voice is great, but the spark isn’t there. It makes me wonder if the artist was fully recovered from her serious health issues. She sounds tired.
Some of the cuts are really good. Wallflower is one of my favorites here, somehow evoking an old western feel. I’m Not In Love is a nice cover of the 10cc song that I didn’t think anyone could cover well. California Dreaming is a really nice take on the classic Mamas and Papas tune. Feels Like Home is an interesting number that I liked. In My Life is my favorite cut on the album. It’s the one song where Diana comes closest to her intimate and sultry style.
The rest of the tunes are all OK, but nothing that really sticks with you. Nothing that brings a smile,, makes you tap your toes, or feel involved at all. Flat. Tired. Something’s just not there for me, and I so WANTED it, whatever “it” is, to be there.
Maybe that’s the thing.. While this album is well done and at times quite enjoyable, it’s just not what I WANTED to hear from Diana Krall. I know artists have to grow and change. I just hope she will sometimes come back to the style of some of her earlier triumphs, at least for a visit now and then.
I would say that newer fans of Diana Krall will love this album, while those of us who have been listening to her for 10-15 years might not be as enthused. I’m glad to have this addition to my collection, and I’m sure I’ll return to listen again. But it won’t get the regular play that Love Scenes and The Look of Love do.
California Dreamin’ – Diana Krall
Desperado – Diana Krall
Superstar – Diana Krall
Alone Again (Naturally) – Diana Krall and Michael Bublé Wallflower [feat. Blake Mills] – Diana Krall
If I Take You Home Tonight – Diana Krall
I Can’t Tell You Why – Diana Krall
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Diana Krall
Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels) – Diana Krall
I’m Not In Love – Diana Krall
Feels Like Home – Bryan Adams and Diana Krall
Don’t Dream It’s Over – Diana Krall
In My Life = Diana Krall