About the Song

Ah, Diana Krall’s rendition of “Just The Way You Are” – a masterclass in reinterpreting a classic. Released in 2002, this cover breathes new life into Billy Joel’s iconic ballad, showcasing Krall’s signature smoky vocals and her unparalleled ability to weave emotional tapestry through jazz improvisation.

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While Joel’s original pulsated with a youthful exuberance, Krall’s version takes a decidedly more nuanced approach. The piano, often the heart of a Krall song, becomes a character itself. The opening arpeggios are slow and deliberate, setting a mood of quiet intimacy. The tempo is a gentle sway, a far cry from the driving beat of the original. This deliberate pacing allows Krall’s voice to take center stage. Here, it’s not a powerful belt, but a sultry caress, each note imbued with a quiet confidence and a touch of melancholy.

Krall’s phrasing deserves special mention. She takes liberties with the melody, stretching and bending notes to heighten the emotional impact of the lyrics. Listen closely to the way she lingers on certain syllables, imbuing them with a deeper meaning. This playfulness with melody is a hallmark of jazz singing, and Krall, a master of the genre, uses it to great effect.

The instrumentation in Krall’s version is sparse and sophisticated. The bass provides a deep, steady pulse, anchoring the song and allowing the piano to dance freely. Drums, if present at all, are used with a feathery touch, simply punctuating the phrasing. In some arrangements, a saxophone adds a touch of smoky yearning, but never overpowers the intimacy of the performance.

This stripped-down approach allows the listener to fully appreciate the beauty of the song’s core message: unconditional love. Krall’s interpretation emphasizes the quiet strength and dedication that come with truly loving someone “just the way you are.” It’s a love that sees beyond flaws and embraces the complexities of another person.

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It’s important to note that Krall’s “Just The Way You Are” wasn’t her first foray into covering pop music. Throughout her career, she’s reimagined songs by everyone from The Beatles to Bob Dylan. However, this particular cover holds a special place in her repertoire. Perhaps it’s the timeless nature of the message, or perhaps it’s the way she transforms it into a smoky jazz ballad that resonates deeply with listeners of all ages.

So, when you hit play on Diana Krall’s “Just The Way You Are,” prepare to be transported to a world of smoky jazz clubs and whispered confessions. It’s a testament to the power of a great song and the artistry of a singer who can breathe new life into even the most familiar classics.

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Lyrics

“Just The Way You Are”

Don’t go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore

I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are

Don’t go trying some new fashion
Don’t change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you

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I said I love you, and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are

I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are