It’s always frustrating when an artist follows one of her best, most interesting albums with one of her dullest, and yet Diana Krall doesn’t blink, lurching from the smoky flapper jazz of 2012’s “Glad Rag Doll” to the antiseptic “Wallflower.” Much of the credit belongs to milquetoast megaproducer David Foster, who never met a singer he couldn’t make sound like a Broadway star venturing an oblivious, uninspired pop move. But Krall plays along too eagerly; listening to her wan, rudimentary playing, you’d never know that she’s a deft jazz pianist. Save for “Superstar,” which falls just short of being tranformed into a Julie London torch ballad, Krall’s darkly sultry voice isn’t enough to enliven her material. She stands by, helpless, as “Don’t Dream It’s Over” becomes a syrupy, sodden mess — the thing is, Krall once would have come up with surprising, creative interpretations of songs like that and “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” On “Wallflower,” she’s reduced to simply delivering renditions. (Out Tuesday)
Diana Krall performs at the Shubert Theater on Feb. 25.Marc Hirsh can be reached at email@example.com.