Wrong Turns (Music Thoughts: Stephanie Porter, How Deep Is The Ocean)

What do you do when an album you are listening to starts on the wrong foot? I asked myself that because Stephanie Porter, in her album. “How Deep Is The Ocean,” sings the title track, and it’s…horrid. The arrangement made me scratch my head, and she totally ignores Irving Berlin’s wonderful lyric, syncopating at the wrong syllables with no regards to what the words mean. I was almost flabbergasted. Did no one hear how “wrong” this was? I had to keep on listening, because I was unsure if I was being played. She follows it up with a bossa nova version of “At Last,” and I thought, this is, again, totally wrong. The arrangement totally clashes with the spirit of the song, causing me to shake my head. Porter has a pleasant enough voice, and I had to google her and read an article where she says she listened to all these standards growing up, and she listened to everyone singing them. I think she may have heard too much – in her quest to do somethign “different” to these songs, she just takes the wrong turn. Even when she tries to tone it down, like in “Speak Low,” she always does something to break the integrity of the piece. It is almost interesting in the most bizarre way, liek asking what is she going to screw up now.

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