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Pop - Released June 12, 2020 | Blue Note Records

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A misconception has sometimes been associate with Norah Jones: that the Texan is little more than a pleasant light-jazz singer whose albums serve as harmless background music for high-brow and proper evening dinners. Though her writing, playing and eclectic collaborations, she has clearly proved that she is far more interesting than this cliché. And this 2020 offering is a new illustration of her complexity. As is often the case with Norah Jones, Pick Me Up Off the Floor is not quite jazz, not quite blues, not quite country, etc… Her genre-defying music works primarily to suit the song being played. Here we find what has been left behind after sessions with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Thomas Bartlett, Mavis Staples, Rodrigo Amarante and several others.But for all that the result is not simply a contrived mishmash of collaborations but a collection of songs that hold the same silky groove (present on six out of 11 tracks on the record in which Brian Blade’s drums work delicate miracles) and calm sound which increasingly suits the artist, somewhere between pure poetry and realism. “Every session I’ve done, there’ve been extra songs I didn’t release, and they’ve sort of been collecting for the last two years. I became really enamoured with them, having the rough mixes on my phone, listening while I walk the dog. The songs stayed stuck in my head and I realised that they had this surreal thread running through them. It feels like a fever dream taking place somewhere between God, the Devil, the heart, the Country, the planet, and me.” Rarely has Norah Jones sang with such strength, like on I’m Alive where she sings of women’s resilience, or on How I Weep in which she tackles love and exasperation with unequalled grace. This Deluxe Edition contains two bonus tracks and a collection of 17 songs culled from Norah’s Live From Home weekly livestream series. Thie Live From Home selections include a mix of career-spanning originals and such covers as Guns N’Roses’ Patience, John Prine’s That’s The Way The World Goes Round and Ravi Shankar’s I Am Missing You. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Pop - Released June 12, 2020 | Blue Note Records

Once she came to the end of the promotional cycle for 2016's Day Breaks, Norah Jones decided to challenge herself by recording a series of swift sessions with a rotating cast of collaborators. The intention was to release the results quickly, issuing them as a digital single at a time, and Jones followed through on this plan, releasing a new song every few months throughout 2018. These tunes were rounded up on 2019's Begin Again, but that wasn't the end of the project. Jones cut a number of songs during these sessions that were unreleased but not forgotten by the singer/songwriter. She kept listening to the rough mixes, eventually coming to the conclusion that these tracks would make a strong album of their own accord. Pick Me Up Off the Floor proves her instincts were correct. Lacking the purposeful digressions of Begin Again -- an album where the digressions were the entire point -- Pick Me Up Off the Floor is a tighter affair than its companion record, firmly rooted in the after-hours jazz-folk-pop hybrid that's Jones' calling card. Some of the cohesion may be due to how a good chunk of the album is anchored by her standby drummer Brian Blade, but it's also true that this record's collaboration with Jeff Tweedy is the amiably rambling "I'm Alive," a number that is firmly stationed within Jones' wheelhouse. The same could be said about Pick Me Up Off the Floor in general. There are accents and flourishes that distinguish the tunes -- "Flame Twin" is charged by curlicues of guitars and smears of organ, "To Live" is graced by muted horns straight out of the Big Easy -- but as a collection of songs, Pick Me Up Off the Floor winds up emphasizing how Jones slyly and elegantly synthesizes a pop sensibility with a jazz execution, a fusion that is comforting yet relies on her idiosyncratic twists. This blend of warmth and invention is what's so appealing about Pick Me Up Off the Floor: the shape may seem familiar, but the construction of the songs and the inventiveness of the performance keeps it fresh and surprising even after the first listen. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Vocal Jazz - Released October 27, 2017 | Blue Note (BLU)

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It is important to realize that Norah Jones is not just a famous persona waving from the cover of a glossy magazine, or simply “a pretty face". The truth is far deeper... Day Breaks is further evidence of her undeniable talent, but also of a tangible artistic evolution. Mixing beautiful original compositions with a sprinkling of great classics (Horace Silver, Neil Young and Duke Ellington), the sixth album from the New Yorker who grew up in Texas brings her many and diverse passions together in one place.  Always lying within the realms of jazz, soul, pop and folk, it is her sincere and visceral love for the former that inhabits this stylish album, which doesn't dwell in the past for a single second. Over the years, the piano (much like her vocals) have toggled between nonchalance and pugnacity. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade are among the accomplices invited to the party here, and the experience of those involved is truly telling. Somehow, Day Breaks manages to see eye to eye with Come Away With Me, her first disc released back in 2002, and one that propelled her to the top of the charts. This 2016 vintage is even more structured than previous efforts. Mastered to perfection, the latest effort serves to epitomize the grace and beauty of this timeless artist. © MZ / Qobuz
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Pop - Released February 10, 2004 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

It may be far too obvious to even mention that Norah Jones' follow-up to her 18-million-unit-selling, eight-Grammy-winning, genre-bending, super-smash album Come Away with Me has perhaps a bit too much to live up to. But that's probably the biggest conundrum for Jones: having to follow up the phenomenal success of an album that was never designed to be so hugely popular in the first place. Come Away with Me was a little album by an unknown pianist/vocalist who attempted to mix jazz, country, and folk in an acoustic setting -- who knew? Feels Like Home could be seen as "Come Away with Me Again" if not for that fact that it's actually better. Smartly following the template forged by Jones and producer Arif Mardin, there is the intimate single "Sunrise," some reworked cover tunes, some interesting originals, and one ostensible jazz standard. These are all good things, for also like its predecessor, Feels Like Home is a soft and amiable album that frames Jones' soft-focus Aretha Franklin voice with a group of songs that are as classy as they are quiet. Granted, not unlike the dippy albeit catchy hit "Don't Know Why," they often portend deep thoughts but come off in the end more like heartfelt daydreams. Of course, Jones could sing the phone book and make it sound deep, and that's what's going to keep listeners coming back. What's surprising here are the bluesy, more jaunty songs that really dig into the country stylings only hinted at on Come Away with Me. To these ends, the infectious shuffle of "What Am I to You?" finds Jones truly coming into her own as a blues singer as well as a writer. Her voice has developed a spine-tingling breathy scratch that pulls on your ear as she rises to the chorus. Similarly, "Toes" and "Carnival Town" -- co-written by bassist Lee Alexander and Jones -- are pure '70s singer/songwriting that call to mind a mix of Rickie Lee Jones and k.d. lang. Throw in covers of Tom Waits and Townes Van Zandt along with Duke Ellington's "Melancholia," retitled here "Don't Miss You at All" and featuring lyrics by Jones, and you've got an album so blessed with superb songwriting that Jones' vocals almost push the line into too much of a good thing. Thankfully, there is also a rawness and organic soulfulness in the production that's refreshing. No digital pitch correction was employed in the studio and you can sometimes catch Jones hitting an endearingly sour note. She also seems to be making good on her stated desire to remain a part of a band. Most all of her sidemen, who've worked with the likes of Tom Waits and Cassandra Wilson, get writing credits. It's a "beauty and the beast" style partnership that harks back to the best Brill Building-style intentions and makes for a quietly experimental and well-balanced album. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 27, 2017 | Blue Note (BLU)

Norah Jones took liberty with her blockbuster success to set out on a musical walkabout, spending a good portion of the decade following 2004's Feels Like Home experimenting, either on her own albums or on a variety of collaborations. Day Breaks, released four years after the atmospheric adult alternative pop of the Danger Mouse-produced Little Broken Hearts, finds Jones returning home to an extent: it, like her 2002 debut Come Away with Me, is a singer/songwriter album with roots in pop and jazz, divided between originals and sharply selected covers. Such similarities are immediately apparent, but Day Breaks is much slyer than a mere revival. That term suggests a slight air of desperation, but Jones comes from a place of confidence on Day Breaks, happy to demonstrate everything she's learned over the years. Often, these tricks are deliberately sly: she'll pair her torchy original "And Then There Was You" with a woozy, bluesy cover of Neil Young's "Don't Be Denied" that winds up evoking Come Away with Me, then follow that up with the dense, nocturnal rhythms of "Day Breaks." She threads in versions of Horace Silver's "Peace" and Duke Ellington's "African Flower" while inviting saxophonist Wayne Shorter and organist Lonnie Smith in to play -- moves that signal that there's a strong, elastic jazz undercurrent to Day Breaks that means this record breathes more than her debut. Such a sense of quiet adventure gives the record depth, but what gives it resonance are the exquisitely sculpted songs. Jones' originals feel as elegant as time-honored standards, and all her covers feel fresh. The former speak to her craft, the latter to her gifts as a stylist, and the two combine to turn Day Breaks into a satisfying testament to her ever-evolving musicianship. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 22, 2002 | Blue Note Records

What does a shrug sound like? On "Don't Know Why,” the opening track of her debut effort, Norah Jones suggests a few possibilities. The first time she sings the title phrase, she gives it a touch of indifference, the classic tossed-off movie-star shrug. Her tone shifts slightly when she hits the chorus, to convey twinges of sadness; here the casual phrasing could be an attempt to shake off a sharp memory. Later, she shrugs in a way that conveys resignation, possibly regret—she's replaying a scene, trying to understand what happened. Those shrugs and shadings, tools deployed by every jazz vocalist of the 1950s, are inescapable throughout Come Away With Me—in part because everything surrounding Jones' voice is so chill. There's room for her to emote, and room for gently cresting piano and organ chords. Unlike so many of her contemporaries, Jones knows instinctively how much (or how little!) singer the song needs. The secret of this record, which came out when Jones was 22, is its almost defiant approachability: It is calm, and open, and gentle, music for a lazy afternoon in a porch swing. As transfixing covers of Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart” and Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You” make clear, Jones thinks about contours and shadows when she sings; her storytelling depends as much on the scene and the atmosphere as the narrative. And Jones applies the same understatement to the original songs here, which weave together elements of country, pop, jazz and torch balladry in inventive ways. It's one thing to render an old tune with modern cleverness, a skill Jones had honed as a solo pianist/singer before she was discovered. It's quite another to transform an original tune, like Jesse Harris' "Don't Know Why,” into something that sounds ageless and eternal, like a standard. Jones does that, over and over, using just shrugs and implications, rarely raising her voice much above a whisper. © Tom Moon/Qobuz
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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | Blue Note Records

In the wake of her 2002 blockbuster debut, Norah Jones became an in-demand duet partner, popping up on albums from all manners of musicians. The 2010 compilation, …Featuring, helpfully rounds up 18 of these guest appearances, including a cut by the Jones-fronted country cabaret outfit the Little Willies, and what impresses is the range of collaborators and the consistency of the music. Anybody who called Norah up for a duet was clearly smitten by her way with slow-burning seduction, as they almost without fail cast her in that role for their own recordings, smoothing out rough edges or adding some sultry sophistication. This would seem like a limited specialty, but Featuring proves it’s not. Jones sounds as comfortable trading verses with Willie Nelson and Ray Charles as she does acting as a counterpoint to Q-Tip and Outkast, providing alternating contrasts according to the setting; she freshens the veterans and provides a touch of timeless elegance to her modern rock peers. It may all be variations on a theme, but the sounds and songs change just enough for the music to be quietly absorbing. Better still, when these side shows are grouped together as a main attraction, they manage to sound of a piece. These may be songs that appeared on other artist’s albums, but when presented as a collection, they seem to belong only to Norah Jones. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2012 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Absolute Sound: Best New Releases Of The Year
Exorcizing the ghost of a failed relationship via the time-honored tradition of the breakup album, Norah Jones luxuriates in beautiful misery on Little Broken Hearts. Liberated by the separation but not quite ready to let it go, Jones achieves a curious subdued tension here, dressing unadorned confessionals in softly stylized studio noir created with the assistance of producer Danger Mouse, who collaborated with her the year before on the collective Rome. Seeming opposites -- the classicist meets the futurist -- Jones and Danger Mouse are well matched, as both artists are not as set in their ways as their individual reputations would suggest. Jones began to drift away from the jazzy sophistication of Come Away with Me when she released the quietly adventurous Not Too Late way back in 2007, the year after Danger Mouse broke into the mainstream via Gnarls Barkley. In the ensuing half decade, the singer/songwriter continued to dabble in different sounds and styles while the producer streamlined his electronic eccentricities, leaving them to meet at the crossroads of Little Broken Hearts, where he wrings out the pathos in her songs. The songs themselves hold little mystery -- all motivations are laid bare, there are no twists in the melodies or detours hidden within the structure -- so all the mystique derives from a production that amplifies the themes. Occasionally, Danger Mouse piles on his signature murk a little too thickly, weighing down such spare sad songs as "She's 22" and "Miriam," yet his aural tapestries often lend the tunes a lilting melancholy they require and add dimension to the album's poppier moments ("Happy Pills," "Say Goodbye"). Conversely, by placing so much emphasis on the stylish ever-shifting surfaces of its production, Little Broken Hearts never quite sinks in emotionally. Norah Jones may be pouring her heart out but it's been given an elegantly detailed sculpture that camouflages her pain. Listen closely and its evident, but it takes effort to ignore the alluring haze and hear the songs that lie beneath. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released June 12, 2020 | Blue Note Records

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A misconception has sometimes been associate with Norah Jones: that the Texan is little more than a pleasant light-jazz singer whose albums serve as harmless background music for high-brow and proper evening dinners. Though her writing, playing and eclectic collaborations, she has clearly proved that she is far more interesting than this cliché. And this 2020 offering is a new illustration of her complexity. As is often the case with Norah Jones, Pick Me Up Off the Floor is not quite jazz, not quite blues, not quite country, etc… Her genre-defying music works primarily to suit the song being played. Here we find what has been left behind after sessions with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Thomas Bartlett, Mavis Staples, Rodrigo Amarante and several others.But for all that the result is not simply a contrived mishmash of collaborations but a collection of songs that hold the same silky groove (present on six out of 11 tracks on the record in which Brian Blade’s drums work delicate miracles) and calm sound which increasingly suits the artist, somewhere between pure poetry and realism. “Every session I’ve done, there’ve been extra songs I didn’t release, and they’ve sort of been collecting for the last two years. I became really enamoured with them, having the rough mixes on my phone, listening while I walk the dog. The songs stayed stuck in my head and I realised that they had this surreal thread running through them. It feels like a fever dream taking place somewhere between God, the Devil, the heart, the Country, the planet, and me.” Rarely has Norah Jones sang with such strength, like on I’m Alive where she sings of women’s resilience, or on How I Weep in which she tackles love and exasperation with unequalled grace. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Pop - Released April 16, 2021 | Blue Note Records

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Over the course of her 20-year career, Norah Jones may have performed thousands of concerts, but she has never delivered a live album. For ...’Til We Meet Again, released almost two decades after her hit first album Come Away With Me, she opts for the trio and quartet setups, undoubtedly the configurations that best suit her voice and piano. The setlist includes songs recorded between May 2017 and December 2019 in the United States, France, Italy, Brazil and Argentina, with organist Pete Remm, bassists Christopher Thomas and Jesse Murphy, drummers and percussionists Brian Blade and Marcelo Costa, guitarist Jesse Harris and flautist Jorge Continentino.In order to show she’s a major-league performer capable of fully owning everything she sings, Jones shifts seamlessly from the legendary country of Cold Cold Heart by Hank Williams to Black Hole Sun by grunge group Soundgarden (a posthumous tribute to singer Chris Cornell recorded a few days after his death), not to mention her own songs… With false nonchalance but genuine melancholy, Jones picks through her albums Come Away With Me (Don’t Know Why, I’ve Got To See You Again, Cold, Cold Heart), Feels Like Home (Sunrise, Those Sweet Words), Little Broken Hearts (After The Fall) and Day Breaks (Flipside, Tragedy), as well as her most recent series of singles (It Was You, Begin Again, Just A Little Bit). Everything is fluid and coherent. Her piano playing is nicely matured and the chemistry with the exceptional Blade (what a drummer!) reaches real heights here. You’ve got to surrender yourself to this smoky bar jazz (even if you can't smoke in bars anymore…), to the silky velvet blues, deeper and richer than a casual listening might indicate. Then there’s that magical voice with its instantly recognisable timbre, capable of being moving without being weepy, as in the tribute to Cornell that closes this beautiful live set. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Pop - Released April 16, 2021 | Blue Note Records

'Til We Meet Again, the first live album released by Norah Jones, collects highlights from the tours she gave in the wake of the 2016 release of Day Breaks. The 14 songs on 'Til We Meet Again were recorded between 2017 and 2019, taken from performances given in the United States, Italy, France, Brazil, and Argentina. To Jones' credit, the album doesn't feel like it was cobbled together from different sources. The music flows easily, with Jones taking the time to stretch and solo, playing with her vocal phrasing just enough to enliven older songs and give newer tunes a lift. There are some overt surprises, such as a closing cover of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" that was given a week after Chris Cornell's 2017 death at the same Detroit venue where the band played their last show, but this isn't an album that upends expectations. Rather, it's a testament to the enduring elegance of Norah Jones' jazz-pop while also offering proof of the depth of her songbook. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note

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What does a shrug sound like? On "Don't Know Why,” the opening track of her debut effort, Norah Jones suggests a few possibilities. The first time she sings the title phrase, she gives it a touch of indifference, the classic tossed-off movie-star shrug. Her tone shifts slightly when she hits the chorus, to convey twinges of sadness; here the casual phrasing could be an attempt to shake off a sharp memory. Later, she shrugs in a way that conveys resignation, possibly regret—she's replaying a scene, trying to understand what happened. Those shrugs and shadings, tools deployed by every jazz vocalist of the 1950s, are inescapable throughout Come Away With Me—in part because everything surrounding Jones' voice is so chill. There's room for her to emote, and room for gently cresting piano and organ chords. Unlike so many of her contemporaries, Jones knows instinctively how much (or how little!) singer the song needs. The secret of this record, which came out when Jones was 22, is its almost defiant approachability: It is calm, and open, and gentle, music for a lazy afternoon in a porch swing. As transfixing covers of Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart” and Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You” make clear, Jones thinks about contours and shadows when she sings; her storytelling depends as much on the scene and the atmosphere as the narrative. And Jones applies the same understatement to the original songs here, which weave together elements of country, pop, jazz and torch balladry in inventive ways. It's one thing to render an old tune with modern cleverness, a skill Jones had honed as a solo pianist/singer before she was discovered. It's quite another to transform an original tune, like Jesse Harris' "Don't Know Why,” into something that sounds ageless and eternal, like a standard. Jones does that, over and over, using just shrugs and implications, rarely raising her voice much above a whisper. © Tom Moon/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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What does a shrug sound like? On "Don't Know Why,” the opening track of her debut effort, Norah Jones suggests a few possibilities. The first time she sings the title phrase, she gives it a touch of indifference, the classic tossed-off movie-star shrug. Her tone shifts slightly when she hits the chorus, to convey twinges of sadness; here the casual phrasing could be an attempt to shake off a sharp memory. Later, she shrugs in a way that conveys resignation, possibly regret—she's replaying a scene, trying to understand what happened. Those shrugs and shadings, tools deployed by every jazz vocalist of the 1950s, are inescapable throughout Come Away With Me—in part because everything surrounding Jones' voice is so chill. There's room for her to emote, and room for gently cresting piano and organ chords. Unlike so many of her contemporaries, Jones knows instinctively how much (or how little!) singer the song needs. The secret of this record, which came out when Jones was 22, is its almost defiant approachability: It is calm, and open, and gentle, music for a lazy afternoon in a porch swing. As transfixing covers of Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart” and Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You” make clear, Jones thinks about contours and shadows when she sings; her storytelling depends as much on the scene and the atmosphere as the narrative. And Jones applies the same understatement to the original songs here, which weave together elements of country, pop, jazz and torch balladry in inventive ways. It's one thing to render an old tune with modern cleverness, a skill Jones had honed as a solo pianist/singer before she was discovered. It's quite another to transform an original tune, like Jesse Harris' "Don't Know Why,” into something that sounds ageless and eternal, like a standard. Jones does that, over and over, using just shrugs and implications, rarely raising her voice much above a whisper. © Tom Moon/Qobuz
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Pop - Released January 1, 2009 | Blue Note Records

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With The Fall, Norah Jones completes the transition away from her smooth cabaret beginnings and toward a mellowly arty, modern singer/songwriter. Jones began this shift on 2007's Not Too Late, an album that gently rejected her tendencies for lulling, tasteful crooning, but The Fall is a stronger, more cohesive work, maintaining an elegantly dreamy state that's faithful to the crooner of Come Away with Me while feeling decidedly less classicist. Some of this could be attributed to Jones' choice of producer, Jacquire King, best-known for his work with Modest Mouse and Kings of Leon, but King hardly pushes Norah in a rock direction; The Fall does bear some mild echoes of Fiona Apple or Aimee Mann in ballad mode, but its arrangements never call attention to themselves, the way that some Jon Brion productions do. Instead, the focus is always on Jones' voice and songs, which are once again all originals, sometimes composed in conjunction with collaborators including her longtime colleagues Jesse Harris, Ryan Adams, and Will Sheff of Okkervil River. In addition to King's pedigree, the latter two co-writers suggest a slight indie bent to Jones' direction, which isn't an inaccurate impression -- there's certainly a late-night N.Y.C. vibe to these songs -- but it's easy to overstate the artiness of The Fall, especially when compared to Not Too Late, which wore its ragged ambitions proudly. Here, Jones ties up loose ends, unafraid to sound smooth or sultry, letting in just enough dissonance and discord to give this dimension, creating a subtle but rather extraordinary low-key record that functions as a piece of mood music but lingers longer, thanks to its finely crafted songs. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
What does a shrug sound like? On "Don't Know Why,” the opening track of her debut effort, Norah Jones suggests a few possibilities. The first time she sings the title phrase, she gives it a touch of indifference, the classic tossed-off movie-star shrug. Her tone shifts slightly when she hits the chorus, to convey twinges of sadness; here the casual phrasing could be an attempt to shake off a sharp memory. Later, she shrugs in a way that conveys resignation, possibly regret—she's replaying a scene, trying to understand what happened. Those shrugs and shadings, tools deployed by every jazz vocalist of the 1950s, are inescapable throughout Come Away With Me—in part because everything surrounding Jones' voice is so chill. There's room for her to emote, and room for gently cresting piano and organ chords. Unlike so many of her contemporaries, Jones knows instinctively how much (or how little!) singer the song needs. The secret of this record, which came out when Jones was 22, is its almost defiant approachability: It is calm, and open, and gentle, music for a lazy afternoon in a porch swing. As transfixing covers of Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart” and Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You” make clear, Jones thinks about contours and shadows when she sings; her storytelling depends as much on the scene and the atmosphere as the narrative. And Jones applies the same understatement to the original songs here, which weave together elements of country, pop, jazz and torch balladry in inventive ways. It's one thing to render an old tune with modern cleverness, a skill Jones had honed as a solo pianist/singer before she was discovered. It's quite another to transform an original tune, like Jesse Harris' "Don't Know Why,” into something that sounds ageless and eternal, like a standard. Jones does that, over and over, using just shrugs and implications, rarely raising her voice much above a whisper. © Tom Moon/Qobuz
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Pop - Released January 1, 2004 | Blue Note Records

It may be far too obvious to even mention that Norah Jones' follow-up to her 18-million-unit-selling, eight-Grammy-winning, genre-bending, super-smash album Come Away with Me has perhaps a bit too much to live up to. But that's probably the biggest conundrum for Jones: having to follow up the phenomenal success of an album that was never designed to be so hugely popular in the first place. Come Away with Me was a little album by an unknown pianist/vocalist who attempted to mix jazz, country, and folk in an acoustic setting -- who knew? Feels Like Home could be seen as "Come Away with Me Again" if not for that fact that it's actually better. Smartly following the template forged by Jones and producer Arif Mardin, there is the intimate single "Sunrise," some reworked cover tunes, some interesting originals, and one ostensible jazz standard. These are all good things, for also like its predecessor, Feels Like Home is a soft and amiable album that frames Jones' soft-focus Aretha Franklin voice with a group of songs that are as classy as they are quiet. Granted, not unlike the dippy albeit catchy hit "Don't Know Why," they often portend deep thoughts but come off in the end more like heartfelt daydreams. Of course, Jones could sing the phone book and make it sound deep, and that's what's going to keep listeners coming back. What's surprising here are the bluesy, more jaunty songs that really dig into the country stylings only hinted at on Come Away with Me. To these ends, the infectious shuffle of "What Am I to You?" finds Jones truly coming into her own as a blues singer as well as a writer. Her voice has developed a spine-tingling breathy scratch that pulls on your ear as she rises to the chorus. Similarly, "Toes" and "Carnival Town" -- co-written by bassist Lee Alexander and Jones -- are pure '70s singer/songwriting that call to mind a mix of Rickie Lee Jones and k.d. lang. Throw in covers of Tom Waits and Townes Van Zandt along with Duke Ellington's "Melancholia," retitled here "Don't Miss You at All" and featuring lyrics by Jones, and you've got an album so blessed with superb songwriting that Jones' vocals almost push the line into too much of a good thing. Thankfully, there is also a rawness and organic soulfulness in the production that's refreshing. No digital pitch correction was employed in the studio and you can sometimes catch Jones hitting an endearingly sour note. She also seems to be making good on her stated desire to remain a part of a band. Most all of her sidemen, who've worked with the likes of Tom Waits and Cassandra Wilson, get writing credits. It's a "beauty and the beast" style partnership that harks back to the best Brill Building-style intentions and makes for a quietly experimental and well-balanced album. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Norah Jones in the magazine
  • Qobuz: Exclusive Interview with Norah Jones
    Qobuz: Exclusive Interview with Norah Jones Ahead of her new album release this coming Friday, 7th October, Marc Zisman of Qobuz had the opportunity to sit with the world renowned jazz artist to chat about life, music, and more...