Actors Who Sing: Russell Crowe
BAND The sextet 30 Odd Foot of Grunts
MOST RECENT ALBUM Other Ways of Speaking, 2004 (EW Grade: C) [Previous albums: Bastard Life or Clarity, 2001 (EW Grade: B-); Gaslight, 2002]
SOUNDS LIKE… Brooding, ’90s-style alt-rock — except one track on Speaking, ”Mission Beat,” which is reminiscent of The Sopranos’ theme song (by Alabama 3).
THE LOWDOWN If you love Crowe’s emotional intensity as an actor, bad news: He’s not as convincing while singing about infidelity and lost love. ”The Grunts’ tunes milk folk-rock clichés, while Crowe’s vocals strain with faux sensitivity,” said EW’s Jim Farber. The Grunts dissolved a few months ago, but Russ released a solo project just last week, My Hand, My Heart (now available on iTunes).
MEMORABLE LYRIC ”I’ve never found it easier to spend my days/ My soul sings the prowler’s nocturne/ From deep down within this cage.” (”Painted Veil”)
DOWNLOAD THIS ”Never Be Alone Again,” a duet with the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, may not be the best-written song (”I engender in your fear”?), but it’s a sweet, simple acoustic tune. And you may even tap your foot a little to ”What’s Her Name?”