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It was always going to be difficult for Norah Jones to release an album to equal the phenomenally successful 'Come Away With Me,' and she should be credited for not just taking the same winning formula and applying it to her latest offering, but adding a splash of country music in to the musical melting pot. The Handsome Band, who also contributed to Norah's debut are back on the new album too, and blended with Miss Jones' unique vocal tones and inspired piano playing, it looks as if they've got a hit on their hands.
 'SUNRISE': With its mild country feel, the simple yet imaginative lyrics and vocal harmonising make this opening ballad draw the listener in to Norah's musical message. The twangy guitar rhythms and piano arrangements add to the heart-felt significance of the song. 8/10
 'WHAT AM I TO YOU?': Adding a touch of blues to the country feel of the song, Norah also introduces some bizarre lyrics: "I'd cry if you hurt, I'd give you my last shirt." Although one of the weaker ballads, the vocals are faultless and the electric piano sounds are distinctive. 6/10
 'THOSE SWEET WORDS': Beautiful piano playing, although it is a predictably lyric-ed love song. 7/10
 'CARNIVAL TOWN': As the title suggests, follows a carnival theme, with some hugely inventive lyrics: "Did the clown make you smile, he was only your fool for a while. Now he's gone back home and left you wandering there." Creates images of falling leaves in autumn with its melancholy jazzy feel. 8/10
 'IN THE MORNING': Written by the band's acoustic guitar player Adam Levy, the guitar sounds are very prominent throughout, with some long periods of enchanting drum/guitar/piano medley. One of the strongest songs on the album, it also has a very jazzy feel. 10/10
 'BE HERE TO LOVE ME': The accordion playing gives this song a fair-ground feel to this cover of folk/country artist Townes Van Zandt's classic. 7/10
 'CREEPIN' IN': Very country-orientated, with Dolly Parton's vocals complimenting Norah's beautifully, in a way I had not anticipated. A very catchy number. 9/10
 'TOES': This ballad co-written by Norah, has some very creative lyrics: "Walked a mile just to find the edge, some place low enough to step right in. Now I'm here I can't begin to move." Heart-felt. 10/10
 'HUMBLE ME': With only minor contribution by the acoustic guitar, this ballad is reminiscent of a live performance. With lyrics such as "You humble me, Lord', it is heavily religiously themed and sung with great emotion. 8/10
 'ABOVE GROUND': The input of the electric piano and resonator give this song a haunting, eerie feel in parts, and the jazzy ambience is similar to the likes of Norah's work on her debut album. 9/10
 'THE LONG WAY HOME': Originally a hit for Tom Waits, the gentle flute playing is very soothing on this track, and Norah's voice is accentuated by the peaceful nature of the background music. 8/10
 'THE PRETTIEST THING': Co-written by Norah, the lyrics to this song are captivating: "The prettiest thing I ever did see was dusty as the handle on the door, rusty as a nail stuck in the old pine floor. Looks like home to me." 8/10
 'DON'T MISS YOU AT ALL': This one has a distinctly Christmassy feel, with the frequent references to snow falling and a secluded existence. The words written by Norah, and the music by Duke Ellington (based on his song 'Melancholia'), this is one to watch out for, and a perfect note on which to end the album. 9/10
Having written (or co-written) six of the thirteen tracks on the album, it is clearly not just Miss Jones' ability as a pianist and vocal performer that allows her to stand out from the tide of manufactured pop puppets, but her song writing skills as well. 'Feels Like Home' sees the artist incorporating new sounds in to her music and experimenting with different genres. The result is highly effective and is certain to keep her long-standing fans happy, as well as introducing many more to her wonderful world of music.
*First published on Amazon.co.uk*
An older and wiser sequel, where the quiet magic of each song gets stronger with every listen.
Feels Like Home with The Handsome Band and special guests.
I am a big fan of Norah Jones. Her first album, Come Away with Me was an absolute classic. The album was certified diamond by the RIAA on February 15, 2005 having sold over 10 million copies in its first three years of release. It won five awards at the Grammy Awards of 2003, including "Record of the Year", "Album of the Year", and "Song of the Year" for "Don't Know Why".
With her second album I definitely feel she is having fun with her music and producing the type of songs that she really wants to sing as well as collaborating with artists she admires and who would not be everybody's first choice of a singing partner. It's so refreshing to see an artist who can not only sing but play instruments too. She is a wonder on the piano and it really makes her songs better and more authentic in my opinion rather than just a singer singing over backing tracks. I also really like her band. They play instruments such as the acoustic guitar, pump organ, viola and cello.
According to an article I read, Feels Like Home is the second album by jazz songwriter Norah Jones, released in 2004. It sold a million copies in the first week of its U.S. release, the first album to do so since Britney Spears' Oops!... I Did It Again (2000) and it was the second best-selling album of 2004, with about 4 million copies sold. It sold 1,920,000 copies on its first week worldwide.
Probably the most popular song from the album is track number 1, Sunrise. It won a 2005 Grammy Award for "Best Female Pop Vocal Performance" and the album was nominated for the Best Pop Vocal Album.
My favourite song on the album is actually a duet with the amazing Dolly Parton, Creepin' In. Creepin' In is has a very country type sound to it as you would expect from Dolly, it has an amazing sound to it and the voices of Dolly and Norah blend together well even though they are both so different.
The rest of the tracks are as follows:
2. "What Am I to You?"
3. "Those Sweet Words"
4. "Carnival Town"
5. "In the Morning"
6. "Be Here to Love Me"
7. "Creepin' In"
9. "Humble Me"
10. "Above Ground"
11. "The Long Way Home"
12. "The Prettiest Thing"
13. "Don't Miss You at All"
Feels like home by Norah Jones really is a beautifully written album and I find it to be very relaxing to listen to. I bought this album for £12 from Virgin and you can get it from a whole range of online stores such as Amazon. This album was released in 2004 and is the second album by Norah Jones. I really found this album to be of a different style than I have ever heard before and it really is something different which is what I like most about it.
The album itself contains 13 very well produced tracks that are all very much of a Jazz type genre. The album includes the very famous and popular "Sunrise" which has a beautiful introduction with a great piano and guitar melody. What I love most about this album is that Norah Jones really does have the most beautiful voice and I just love it. The album is also of a very acoustic sound with very nice vocal backing.
Songs such as "These sweet words" really are very easy to listen to and they contain very powerful lyrics and very ctachy lyrics. It is great to listen to when doign work for example and general stress relief because the songs are just so calming. "In the morning" is generally a slow tempo song that like the rest of the album is beautifully written and is very Jazz orientated.
I did find throughout the album that all of the songs are of a very similar style and whilst I like almost every song, the album is not that diverse and lacks vareity in the music. " Be here to love me" is a great romantic song which has a good guitar solo towards the end. However, I do really like "Creepin in" which is a much faster tempo than the rest of the album and I found it much more exciting to listen to, it makes it sound like a really cool American country music!
Overall I really find to this album to be absolutely lovly and the lyrics really are beautiful. You cannot help but appreciate the true beauty of Norah Jones voice and for that alone I believe that this album is well worth getting and I would really recommend it as a result! There are some excellent songs within this album such as "Sunrise and "Creepin in" which make it an excellent album. I hope this was useful and thank you very much for reading this!
This was the first album of hers that owned after hearing some of her stuff on the radio and being told about her by some of my feminie frineds. Now this may not fit in with my musical tastes, but i do like this album as the voice and the song style go back to more earthly and bare songs, which can sometimes be the best.
The album features more self-penned or co-written pieces which i feel makes this a stronger album than her first, notably enabling her to use her voice to the best effect. And that is again the main highlight of the album, the angelic vocal style and touching vocals that could make any feel even some sort of emotion. The highligt tracks though would have to be 'Sunrise', 'What Am I to You?', 'Humble Me' and 'Don't Miss You At All', all of which make me just sit back and admire them.
There is a familiar concept banded around in musical circles known as
"The difficult second album. It is a phenomenon that rightly haunts many artists and there is good reason for it. Imagine you are a band or artist struggling round the circuit for years writing your material as your own whim and desire takes you, testing those songs in front of live audiences for years and then one day it happens, the contract is signed, the studio is booked and a successful album ensues. What could be better? Well very little, the problem arises a year later when the men in the suits call a meeting with you to say they want a follow up album that pushes you even further into the public eye, a few more singles like the last ones and a worthy follow up to the debut album. Now you have to replicate in a matter of months for this album what it was that you spent years over for the first album. Hence the concept of a difficult second album. Often in a rush to follow up the success of a debut, the second album can often be over thought, over worked and over played in an effort to distil the essence of the first and deliver it in larger portions, until the product sounds like a totally unrelated act. It is therefore pleasing when you venture tentatively into the uncharted waters of a follow up album and find that there is no excessive fussiness, no over exuberant aim to please and what you are being offered is an extension of the reasons that you bought the first album but with enough originality that is not just a derivative. Such an album is Norah Jones, Feels like Home.
It should be particularly admired of her that instead of rising to the role of new found celebrity that she found thrust upon her after her debut album, Come Away With Me won eight Grammy Awards, she played down the fuss and got on with creating more of the cool, smooth vibes that got her noticed in the first place. Unlike the vast majority of female pop solo acts, and there are currently far too many, Jones is schooled in a less obvious tradition for a pop star, having studied for a degree in Jazz Piano at the university of North Texas. Whereas the likes of KT Tunstall and Vanessa Carlton seem to be influenced by the seventies wave of female artists, Jones music seems to have more in common with the likes of Billie Holiday. That said there are some subtle musical genres also thrown in to the mix this time round, most notably an obvious dash of country.
Sunrise opens with such a feel, laid back and spacey, but country none the less, but as Jones sultry voice joins in it gives it a unique and soulful edge. There is a light touch to the instrumentation on the song a touch, which characterises most of her work, and it is the spaces and the restraint of the delivery that makes the music all the more powerful. She and her band fully understand that its not about knowing when to play, its about knowing when not to play. Why play 10 notes when one will do, the art is knowing which one. And if the opening track is heading off slightly down the dusty back roads to Nashville, What Am I to You has a totally urban, late night back room soul venue feel, almost an Aretha Franklin style number. The drum kit is allowed out to play, the guitar is plugged in and a swelling Hammond organ threatens to take over in the background. Whilst her first album is steeped in the jazz and soul roots of her background, this album is more experimental in is sound, some might say unfocused but I prefer to think of it as a brave attempt to use a range of musical genres in the music. Carnival Town for example is an almost cabaret song, voice and piano pretty much take the lions share of the work with an occasional violin joining in to add atmosphere to this already highly emotive sound. Creepin in is pure country and just when you have got to thinking that this song would be right at home on a Dolly Parton album, the women in question pops up and the song plays through as a light weight duet between the Queen of Country and the Jack of All Trades.
There are no massive stand out tracks in the sense of songs that are going to be buzzing around your head for hours after listening to the CD (Sunrise being a possible exception) its not really that sort of album. It is a mix of delicately crafted light and shade and is content to create background mood rather that impose itself upon the listener. Many have criticised this album as being a bite of a pop-light version of the first album but both albums have their merits, both stand well together as a body of work and both just ooze with emotion. Its never going to be the album you put on getting read to go out on a Friday night, its more of a Sunday afternoon chill out, but then where is the harm in that, it is still a worthy addition to you record collection.
Norah Jones is someone who I really didnt think would be my cup of tea, but when my wife raved on so much about her debut album, I relented and gave it a listen, and was immediately transfixed by her voice and the songs that she sang. From that day, her album became a firm favourite in my CD player, alongside Alkaline Trio and The Foo Fighters! At least I can profess to have a varied musical taste!
Her debut album won countless awards, and for me as a music lover, I think it is always so hard to follow up an album like that, and many have fallen at the wayside trying, so the question on many peoples lips was Could Norah Jones buck the trend of one album wonders which seem to be ten a penny at the moment? I hoped she could, and was pleased to see the release of this album was not greeted with the hype that it could have been, but I wish people would stop referring to her music as jazz, because it really does not give the true picture of her music, and whilst there are jazz influences, there are also soul and sometimes pop and even country influences as well. It is this diversity which makes me enjoy her music so much.
Sunrise was chosen as the track to greet the listener, and for me it was a sensible choice, as it is very similar to the music from her first album, so immediately the listener is in their comfort zone. My wife appreciates the emotion of the songs more than I do, but I can still sit back and enjoy the songs for what they are, which is lyrically and musically very pure and consistently enjoyable. This track is heavy on the guitars and piano, but it is the vocals which draw the listener in, as Jones warm, almost velvety tones tell the story of two lovers who hate to be parted once they see the sunrise. A very nice track. 8/10.
What Am I To You slinks across the speakers, and Jones vocals sound almost effortless on the opening of this track. It is an honest and open song, where she tells her partner what they mean to her, and then ask them to do the same, as she doubts whether his feelings match hers. It was in the middle of this track that I realized she was easily living up to the massive expectations placed upon her, because she stayed true to what she loved doing, even if it was not following the popular commercial route. It may have been a gamble, but it was certainly one that has paid off. An excellent track. 9/10.
For me, Those Sweet Words is about finding out how someone feels about you, but not quite believing it. It is a dreamy song musically, and one which will always chill you out rather than getting any blood pumping. It is a nice enough song, but there is just something missing that I cant put my finger on. The more I listen to it, the more I am inclined to think it lacks emotion, but I know many who disagree with me. 5/10
Carnival Town is the slowest track on the album, and sounds very much like it belongs on a film soundtrack, accompanying a scene of much pondering! It is a strange subject choice, and basically says that although you may laugh and have fun at the carnival, you will still be a lonely saddo when you get home!! There is an underlying humour to this song, but is it just me who sees that! 6/10
In The Morning is one of my favourite tracks on the album. There are many different takes on this song, as the lyrics can be construed to mean many things. She sings about an addiction, which could be to a person, or a substance such as caffeine! The vocals are quite gravelly at times on this track, and I love that quality to her voice, and when she rocks it a little, it works for me everytime! 9/10
Be Here To Love Me is a cover version, but I am afraid I know very little about the original, so I can tell you no more than that. It sounds more country than the other tracks that have been included on this album, and always gives me the mental picture of her sitting at some barn dance on a stack of hay while singing this to the dancegoers. Not being a lover of country music, I like this toned down version very much. 8/10
Creepin In is a song you would refuse to listen to if I analysed the subject matter too much as it is about a holey shoe! When I tell you that this is a duet with country queen Dolly Parton, you will not be surprised to hear that this is an uptempo, banjo playing, thigh slapping, foot stomping good old country song. I hate it!!! It is repetitive and just to twee to be enjoyable. 3/10
Back to a more soulful tone with Toes. It is a nice song, which would be perfect on a hot summer day, but it is cold and grey outside, and dipping my toes in the local river is the last thing on my mind at the moment, and even Norahs voice cant persuade me otherwise. 7/10
Humble Me is the standout track on the album for me. It is about a woman (maybe Norah) whose last relationship broke down, and secretly she is ashamed to think how badly she treat her ex. She finds herself in a situation where he is the only person who can help her, and she has to eat a huge chunk of humble pie and face up to the person she has been, and how much she misses what they had, and how he used to make her feel. It is a slow, country influenced ballad, but it is the lyrics and their delivery which makes this winner for me. 10/10
No matter how many times I listen to Above Ground I just cannot make up my mind whether or not I like it. It is a sultry, jazz heavy song, which just feels that it needs that final push to deliver what it hints at. 5/10
The opening bars of The Long Way Home are like something youd see on an old cowboy film, and does not get the song off to the best of starts, but when this lolloping beat continues through the song, it overpowers the vocals, and makes for a disastrous song. It is a cover version, and in my opinion, one that she would have been better off leaving well alone. 0/10
The Prettiest Thing is a strong track, and brings back the soulful, mellow Norah Jones which has been missing from the last few tracks. This song has the arrangement which always works best. Strong piano playing, and easy vocals singing a clear lyrics which allow you to form a hundred mental pictures throughout the song. 9/10
The final track is Dont Miss You At All has Norah singing over Duke Ellingtons Melancholia, and I only know that from reading a magazine article about the album. Joness has made slight changes to the lyrics to make them more her style, but as an ending to the album it is just lacklustre for me I am afraid to say, and leaves me feeling a little flat.
I always try to put the disappointment of the last track to the back of my mind when I think about the album. So did she meet expectations? For me, she did not, but it is still a very likeable and enjoyable album, and maybe it is not as great as I wanted it to be because I had set my standards too high based on her debut. I would still say give it a try, as it is a nice collection of songs to feel mellow with.
This is not really a review of the full album. Originally, I simply wanted to direct people to the live session which she recorded for aol (www.aol.com.. then search for 'sessions' in their music section) which was definitely worth viewing - but has since been taken down. How annoying is that? Anyway, 'Feels Like Home' is the latest album so if you were lucky enough to see the session and liked it, maybe you might like to go look at the more detailed reviews on ciao giving you the full gen on the whole album. OK, Norah Jones. She's kinda cool, isn't she? She exudes integrity. Her beautiful, breathy voice could take you anywhere. Kinda takes you by the hand and leads you? To the back room of your heart? The piano sound is crisp and mournful, the percussion is heard as if from across the bar. The overall effect is of a warm hand stroking you. Lyrically, the songs are complex and startling. The theme tends to return to existential loneliness. I loved lines such as ?I wonder who I am without the warm touch of your hand?. And ?money's just something we throw off the back of the train.? She has a strong vocal range and a distinctive, honest approach to her music making. If you like Lyle Lovett, Jamie Cullum, dinner jazz, Tina May - you'll probably love this. If you're looking for fireworks but can't see too deep into the sky, you might not. By the way ? for the record, the latest album, released on Blue Note, contains the following tracks: Sunrise What Am I To You? Those Sweet Words Carnival Town In The Morning Be Here To Love Me Creepin? In Toes Humble Me Above Ground The Long Way Home The Prettiest Thing Don?t Miss You At All A great gift idea for a partner. It'll make your toes curl in the bath.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 What Am I To You?
3 Those Sweet Words
4 Carnival Town
5 In The Morning
6 Be Here To Love Me
7 Creepin' In
9 Humble Me
10 Above Ground
11 The Long Way Home
12 The Prettiest Thing
13 Don't Miss You At All