Music

Brenna Whitaker - "Anyone Who Had a Heart" (audio) (premiere)

The rising jazz/pop singer knocks a Bacharach classic out of the park.

The first artist producer David Foster has developed and produced since discovering Michael Bublé, Missouri native Brenna Whitaker has the voice to become the next big name in vocal jazz/pop. On the soulful cover of Burt Bacharach's classic "Anyone Who Had a Heart", from her self-titled debut album, she starts off subtly and proceeds to knock it clear out of the park.

"It was the first song I recorded at Verve with David Foster," she tells PopMatters. "I have always been a fan of Burt Bacharach's cinematic approach to writing songs. The song is a little movie in my mind. I can see the whole story and see the facial expressions... It's an emotion I think everyone who has ever been heartbroken could relate to. Lucian Grainge actually picked the song when David Foster had me sing live in his office at Universal Music Group. Lucian knew it was a huge hit in the UK and has been very supportive of my album and staying true to myself.

"In my quest for love and happiness I have many a time fallen for the unavailable man. The song is a question that's really hard to ask: "Why don't you love me?" Sometimes you can't answer so you are left with this feeling of darkness. I think Burt Bacharach captures that feeling in his story and I personally interpret it as a girl who has fallen in love with a gay man."

Brenna Whitaker will be released 6 November on Verve, and can be pre-ordered here.

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The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

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