Glad Rag Doll


Earlier this year, Diana Krall collaborated with Paul McCartney on Kisses on the Bottom, his tribute to pre-rock standards. She displayed an undeniable affinity for the songcraft of that earlier, simpler time, so it’s not surprising that she covers similar ground here. What is surprising: her adventurous approach. With T Bone Burnett producing and a guitar-heavy band behind her, Krall digs into the core of each tune, recasting it as she sees fit. Lead single “There Ain’t No Sweet Man That’s Worth the Salt of My Tears,” penned by early 20th century songsmith Fred Fisher, is bubbly and bawdy, but guitarist Marc Ribot injects swampy nastiness worthy of Tom Waits. On “I’m a Little Mixed Up,” she trades the throaty raunch of Koko Taylor’s ’70s version for roadhouse rockabilly. But it’s not all rough and tough. Krall adopts a near whisper on the title track, and on closer “When the Curtain Comes Down,” you expect a bartender to appear and tell you it’s closing time. –Jeff Tamarkin

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