album reaches its most minimalist with this track, which features only
unadorned voice and piano. I had recorded various home demo versions
when I asked Rod Bauer if he would add a piano part. Rod came up with an
arrangement so captivating that it was clearly time to apply the
less-is-more lesson and present the track as a plain piano ballad.
Unfortunately, Rod moved to music school in New York before it was time
to record the song properly. In March 2004 I had begun dropping in
regularly to a local martini bar to listen to Lori Watterson playing the
great American songbook, and before long I'd prevailed upon her to help
out. Lori (pictured here in session for Poison Girls) took Rod's arrangement and adapted it to her own jazzier and
less ornamented style to create the final track. Lori had a requirement
that this track had to be a "live take." That is, she wanted us to keep
doing takes together, with piano and voice being recorded at the same
time without any overdubs later, until we had captured a genuine
conversation between the feel of the vocal and the responding piano. As
a result, Should I Wear the Beautiful is the album's most "real"