Actress Scarlett Johansson’s debut music video was released online Tuesday and is receiving mixed reactions from critics. The video is for the song “Falling Down,” the first single from Johansson’s upcoming debut album, Anywhere I Lay My Head, which is made up almost entirely of Tom Waits covers.
What the commentators said
“While it’s cute to see Johansson become Hollywood-ready by having her forearm tattoo painted over,” said Todd Martens in a Los Angeles Times blog, “it’s a surprisingly direct video for” a “song focused so heavily on muddled-up production, courtesy of TV On the Radio’s Dave Sitek.” And Johansson “takes a rather direct and uniform approach to the vocals in the cut, which seem to needlessly ground the atmospherics.”
“Sure, it might as well be the sequel to Lost in Translation,” said Dan Kois and Lane Brown in New York magazine’s blog Vulture, “what with all the pretty shots of ScarJo staring out car windows as Kevin Shields–y guitars drone in the distance.” But this video “confirms what we’ve been saying for a while: The album sounds good, people. Of course, it helps that she’s singing impeccably written Tom Waits songs.”
Johansson’s version of “Falling Down” might have been better, said April Macintyre in the blog Monsters and Critics, if “her producer had stepped up the tempo, added a few additional instruments, or made her reach a bit more.” She doesn’t have a bad voice; it’s “just what she does with it”—her vocals are pretty “uninspired” and they “move at a tedious pace.” “I hope Mark Ronson or Gnarls Barkley makes friends with her—maybe they can juice the New York beauty’s musical repertoire.”