With her rich velvety vocal style, consummate piano playing and – let's be honest here – her stunning good looks, she came on like a breath of fresh air in the mid-1990's, injecting new life into a tired genre. She has since become the undisputed new first lady of jazz despite a slew of jazz-inspired artists following in her wake (Norah Jones, Katie Melua, Jamie Cullen et al).
This album was always going to be a significant one as it's her first release since she married Elvis Costello. And guess what? He's all over it! Not in the flesh so to speak, but he has co-written about half of the original songs here in collaboration with his new bride while a cover of his most jazz-influenced song, "Almost Blue" is also included.
The originals are mainly romantic ballads and torch songs, albeit with a typically quirky edge, while the heavy orchestration of her commercial breakthrough album The Look Of Love is largely abandoned in favour of a smaller jazz combo with Krall's piano to the fore. Costello fans will immediately recognise the lyrical approach in lines such as, "The glitter on a paint and plaster face" from "Abandoned Masquerade" while "I've Changed My Address" could well be the story of his getting together with Krall ("An invitation came my way knowing it's dangerous to follow"). Krall meanwhile contributes the telling line: "Who knew when I started that I'd find a love and bring him home" (the couple now live in her hometown of Vancouver) while the title track is not unlike that of Costello's collaboration with Burt Bacharach on "This House Is Empty Now."
Of the remainder, "Love Me Like A Man" will be familiar through Bonnie Raitt's version of the Chris Smither song. Tom Waits' "Temptation" is given a respectful treatment, and the only song here which veers away from the strict confines of jazz forms towards a more folk pop is an exquisite version of fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell's "Black Crow."
Not an album designed to win over more mainstream audiences, The Girl In The Other Room is proof that Krall is in it for the long haul.