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Editorial

Tony Borton - Norah Jones: Feels Like Home


12/01/2004 - In my head there exists (among a weird assortment of odds and ends) a fairly long list of all-time greatest singers. The list includes, but is not limited to: Van Morrison, Tim O'Brien, Alison Krauss, John Gorka, Marshall Crenshaw, Jackson Browne, Ozzy Osborne, Ray Alder, George Jones, and…Norah Jones (no relation). Okay, I realize that this extremely abbreviated list amounts to some sort of schizophrenic roll call from Captain Bizarro's School for Confused Eclectic Music-loving Geeks, but then, who cares? I know what I like, and more importantly, I know what you should like, too. Pompous? Maybe. Correct? Absolutely.

Why Norah? Why not? The fact of the matter is that Norah Jones could sing me the tax code and I would be transported to my happy place, for hers is a voice for the ages. Seriously. Janis Joplin, Etta James, and Patsy Cline ain't got nothin' on this gal. Her voice is silky and sultry. It soothes like a soft, warm blanket on a wintry night. Like wine and firelight. Like a whispered promise under summer stars.

Norah's latest, "Feels Like Home," is maybe one of the most aptly titled albums ever. To me, this one sounds like home. The production is understated and elegant, somehow managing to evoke nostalgia without sounding dated. A soft piano, a brush on a snare, and sparse acoustic guitars mingle casually. On some songs, Larry Campbell's tasty electric guitar couples with Norah's cool sounding Wurlitzer piano and beckons me backwards, into the late 60's/early 70's, to a cooler time when earthy, jazzy sounds tugged at my soul, suggesting intimacy and reminding me that music and memories are still inextricably intertwined. This all means that Norah has done it again. First with "Come Away With Me," and now with "Feels Like Home," she has made beautiful, virtually flawless music that we will be listening to for all the long years ahead.

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