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Johansson in song

May 18, 2008

ANN POWERS name-drops over 30 actors and musical artists in her "review" of a new album of Tom Waits songs by Scarlett Johansson ["Singing Film Stars: Is This Just an Act?" May 11].

Wouldn't it have been more honest for Powers to just write a column called "30 or 40 Performers I'm Into Right Now"? Then just follow it with a little sidebar review of Johansson's album in a more succinct, Variety-styled "Good Field, No Hit," jargon, where Powers could say that she likes Waits' songs, likes Johansson's album producer but doesn't think Johansson is there yet.

That would give potential buyers a direct assessment; let Johansson go back to her multi-million-dollar film roles and Paris Hilton-type parties; allow Powers to go back to whatever she does when she's not in her I'm-so-much-hipper-than-my-readers role. A win-win-win for everybody.

Lee Moldaver

Santa Barbara

MY HAT'S off to Scarlett Johansson for taking a musical risk and not following expected commercial trends for her first album.

She has paved the way for upcoming singers such as myself.

I've been recording an album of Mick Jagger covers for my debut album, reimagining some of his obscure solo compositions, also working with guest artists and musicians.

It looks like Scarlett Johansson is a breakthrough artist, after all.

Katharine "Kat" Kramer

Valley Village

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