norah jones, feels like home

Feels Like Home.Sophmore albums are notorious for their inability to live up to a well adored first album. "Feels Like Home" does not suffer from this malady. Quite the contrary, Ms. Jones and The Handsome Band have forged an album with the feel of careful nurture and precise craftsmanship. It is a far cry from the cheaply mass produced, shoddy consumer products which inundate our lives. The listener is, of course, treated to a return visit with Ms. Jones's breath taking vocals. Though the mood evokes the earlier album's laid back tempo, be certain this is not your mother's copy of "Come Away With Me." The band has grown and evolved and "Feels Like Home" is the natural result of this process.

One of the major evolutions is the writing contribution of each member of the band. These contributions work together to create a memorable album, at once both a series of snap shots carefully arranged in a scrapbook and a cohesive collage, painting an elegant portrait of The Handsome Band. Not only has Ms. Jones helped to insure the long term financial viability of her collaborators, the listener is treated to a vastly expanded view of the musical landscape.

Even the liner notes reverberate carefully crafted quality. They contain writing and performance credits as well as the lyrics for each of the songs and a brief round of "thank yous", all tastefully and invitingly arranged. They manage to elegantly provide detailed information and to reinforce the idea of process, growth and development with the selection of documentary styled snapshots carefully scattered through the text.

From the first single, Sunrise, through a duet with Dolly Parton to a reworking of Duke Ellington's Melancholia, "Feels Like Home" explores the edges of isolation, loneliness and tentative, new affections with a mix of jazz, folk, country and blues. It is an audio treat for me this week equal to my first experience with "Come Away With Me."

Rating: Recommended (until I manage to develop a rating system)

Norah Jones "Feels Like Home"

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This page contains a single entry by jack published on February 17, 2004 8:11 PM.

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