I love Jones' first album and her blend of pop, folk, country, and jazz. I, like millions of other people, bought this, her sophomore effort, almost as soon as it was released, looking for more of the same. It is and it isn't. First, she really misses the songwriting abilities of Jesse Harris. Second, this release leans a little too much towards country music for my taste with songs by people like Townes Van Zandt and a duet with Dolly Parton. As a result, this hasn't gotten much of a listen in the past 8 years. I'll admit it: I was wrong. I didn't give this one a fair shake. While I'll continue to skip the more country tunes, there are some tracks that could have easily fit on the debut disc. I'll listen to those.
My apologies to Ms. Jones for not giving this multiple listens before passing judgment and my thanks to her for keeping it simple and, above all, not using the dreaded Auto-Tune. While I like Jones' tasteful, minimalist approach to piano playing, her main asset is her voice. My only problem with her subtle voice is that she makes sounding good so effortless that amateurs think they can handle Jones' styling and phrasing. They can't. I've heard many a karaoke/open-mike/cover band ruin this music. They should be apologizing to Norah more than me.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #1 (6 weeks, Feb 28 - Apr 3, 2004)
Tracks: Ones that will get ripped to iTunes (in other words, the ones I think would fit on Jones' first album) are Sunrise, Those Sweet Words, Carnival Town, Be Here To Love Me, Toes, Humble Me, and Don't Miss You At All (which may be the best tune on the disc - Jones adds her own lyrics to Duke Ellington's Melancholia). I'll pass on the rest, but 7 of 13 isn't bad, particularly if you've previously dismissed all of them.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None
Previously revisited for the blog:
Come Away With Me (2002)