Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

Album review: Diana Krall's 'Quiet Nights'

March 30, 2009 |  5:00 pm

Krall240 Diana Krall's albums should come with a warning label: Do not use while operating heavy machinery. This is not a knock: Krall's round, relaxed voice is a nuanced instrument ideally suited for, as this album's title indicates, quiet nights. With this collection delving exclusively into the worlds of classic ballads and bossa nova, the singer is in an even quieter place than usual.

Which is a bit of a shame. There's nothing terribly wrong with Krall's breathy take on Antonio Carlos Jobim with a faithfully bouncy "The Boy From Ipanema" and "Quiet Nights"; the songs glide by with such an evenhanded subtlety it's almost subliminal. The only mild frustration is, other than Krall's tackling of the Portuguese-language "Este Seu Olhar" from João Gilberto, there isn't really anything new or unexpected here.

Burt Bacharach's "Walk On By" gets a slightly sassy knock from Krall's vocal turn, but any seductive kick she could have offered gets lost among the soft-focused string arrangements that shadow the whole album.

Still, Krall is in fine voice throughout, and her delicate piano work gets time to shine as well, notably on the bossa nova standard "So Nice." While fans looking for a classic, none-too-jarring soundtrack for a romantic evening surely will follow this record happily into their good night, Krall has offered us more than that in the past.

-- Chris Barton

Diana Krall

"Quiet Nights"
Two and a half stars

Albums are rated on a scale of one to four stars.