Word has it that
Norah Jones wears dresses from Target, keeps her five Grammies hidden in the
closet of her East Village loft, and even claims that far from the serious,
moody, sexy gal who struck paydirt with Come Away With Me, that she is
really silly and dorky. Well, if making superstardom and the riches
that follow seem like aw, shucks, thats not the real me, then
Norah Jones is both a savant and snazzy saleswoman on her new album, Feels
The eight million
- selling Come Away With Me was a freak accident of commerce and talent,
a godsend of timing and good fortune that thrust its beautiful subject into
the global spotlight that she wasnt particularly fond of (she even refused
to walk the red carpet at awards ceremonies). The albums stunning cover
photograph, a fleshy, fabulous focus of large lips, eyes, and sheen, certainly
didnt hurt sales, reflecting the publics love of good looks on its
pop stars. But Jones was much more than a pretty face. A fan of Willie Nelson
and Dolly Parton, she could also tickle the ivories to Dizzy Gillespies
Salt Peanuts or any number of classic jazz standards. While Come
Away With Me charmed those in need of musical substance, something beyond
plastic country or damaging hip-hop and rock, confused critics hoped they could
bag an interview with the bashful star.
Im glad that people liked the last album, Jones has said.
It was where I was at then, musically. But this is where I am now. A recording
is for me like a snapshot.
If Jones monster debut was a sleepy plaything, a mellow country jazz candy
as warm as apple pie, Feels Like Home shows what can happen when true
talent takes a calculated risk. Not that the album is that different, but Feels
Like Home is sure to raise the pulse beyond the slow tempos and dreamy melodies
of her debut. Recalling Come Away With Me only for Jones sultry
voice, the album has its share of lovely throwaways balanced by a handful of
glowing and excellently arranged songs. Those Sweet Words, Carnival
Town, The Prettiest Thing, and Sunrise are graceful
and relaxed, songs that almost stop time with rich vocal harmonies and surprisingly
melodic - twists. Jones brought in country legend Dolly Parton for the bluegrass
- tinged CreepinIn.
After Jones was invited to Nashville to sing with Dolly at the 2003 Country
Music Awards, she decided to ask the singer for a favor: duet with her on the
hoedown-inspired track. We asked Dolly if she would like to sing on the
album and she said yes, Jones recalls. We were so nervous when she
came into the studio. She came in and sang her butt off. She sounds great.
Jones plays electric piano throughout Feels Like Home, with swampy guitars
and lazy backbeat drumming, creating a surreal, intimate concert infused with
Jones occasional, multi-tracked vocals. Feels Like Home will leave
you spent and sated, your taste for Norah Jones satisfied like a deluxe lick
of sweet vanilla ice cream.
Feels Like Home