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Norah Jones - Feels Like Home


Review: Jack Foley & Hollie Cade

EIGHTEEN months after Norah Jones’ phenomenally successful, eight times Grammy-winning debut, the Texas-born artist releases her much-anticipated follow-up and the good news is that she seems to be progressing nicely.

Feels Like Home certainly feels like Norah, but it is also a more upbeat affair, building on the elements that made Come Away With Me so successful and adding a more uplifting aura to them.

Beginning with the forthcoming single, Sunrise, a quietly inspiring track which recalls the warm, early glow of a bright Summer’s morning, the album then sets about mixing things up a little, while bringing in a few well chosen collaborators.

Dolly Parton is probably most notable of the guest vocalists, on the country-rooted Creepin’ In, but she never takes the focus away from Jones’ sweet vocals, while The Band duo of Levon Helm and Garth Hudson, lend a blues vibe to the somewhat melancholy What Am I To You?

Central to the album’s success, however, is the decision, by Jones, not to dwell in any one style for too long – so while the first album has been criticised by some for being too downbeat and not lively enough, this one isn’t afraid to change tempo and liven things up every now and again.

Those Sweet Words, for instance, is typically sultry Jones, but is offset neatly by the blues rock of In The Morning, in which the singer swaps the honey-coated vocals for an altogether grittier sound; the type of which wouldn’t sound out of place in some deep-fried bar in America’s Deep South.

Humble Me, conversely, is a sweet little lullaby, which talks of sleeping babies and lost opportunities, while Long Way Home is a folksy little breath of fresh air, to break up some of the weightier issues.

At all times, The Handsome Band, Jones’ trusty group of musicians, are able to stamp their own signature on proceedings, lending the album a rawness, which feels as though it could have been recorded from a live venue, rather than in some slick studio.

As the artist, herself, states: “I didn’t want to make some big recording that was over-produced. Besides, the band has been playing together steadily for two years now and it feels good…We picked good songs, many of which were written by the band, and tried to get the best takes of them we could.”

The result is a richly satisfying affair for Jones aficionados, while also possessing the ability to appeal to an even wider fanbase.

On the strength of this, her forthcoming London dates should be real classics, for Feels Like Home possesses the confident sound of an artist at the peak of her powers.

Track listing:
1. Sunrise
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
8. Toes
9. Humble Me
10. Above Ground
11. The Long Way Home
12. The Prettiest Thing
13. Don't Miss You At All

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