Feels Like Home

Feels Like Home

4.5 38
by Norah Jones
     
 

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The subtlest of pop stars, Norah Jones beguiled listeners with her low-key delivery and classic vocal pop sensibilities on her 2002 debut smash, Come Away with Me. She hasn't changed her tune much on the follow-up, wisely resisting any sophomore impulse to add a glossy sheen to her organic, jazz-informed arrangements. Again

Overview

The subtlest of pop stars, Norah Jones beguiled listeners with her low-key delivery and classic vocal pop sensibilities on her 2002 debut smash, Come Away with Me. She hasn't changed her tune much on the follow-up, wisely resisting any sophomore impulse to add a glossy sheen to her organic, jazz-informed arrangements. Again produced by Arif Mardin, Feels Like Home is a cozy listen for Jones fans, as she brightens various hues in her palette but maintains the noirish tone of Come Away with Me. The singsongy single "Sunrise" is up-tempo for Jones, a tuneful toe-tapper with an optimistic message, and "Carnival Town" reinforces her warm embrace of traditional vocal pop as the circular, piano-led melody echoes a study of the symbolic possibilities in a Ferris wheel. Both songs were co-written by Jones and her bassist, Lee Alexander, a sign of the singer's stepped-up songwriting contributions. Jones lets a little more steam out on her completely self-penned "What Am I to You?," a slow-cooking blues that captures the restrained passion in her voice, with instrumental support from Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of the Band and guitarist Tony Scherr, and on "In the Morning," penned by her regular six-stringer Adam Levy, a slinky examination of lovesickness flavored by Jones's tasteful playing on a Wurlitzer electric piano. She gets a little bit country on "Creepin' In," wherein Dolly Parton reciprocates for Jones's contribution to the Parton tribute Just Because I'm a Woman with typically stellar vocals, trading verses on a tasteful and twangy breakdown. But Jones shines equally on "Don't Miss You at All" -- actually Ellington's instrumental "Melancholia" with new, original lyrics -- a piano-and-voice, post-breakup look at a relationship. Whether on her own at the piano or joined by close friends, Norah Jones continues to enchant with her honeyed voice, sophisticated playing, and sincere expression. Welcome home.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Matt Collar
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.
Rolling Stone - Tom Moon
Far from blanded-out background music, Feels Like Home, Jones' second album, is a triumph of the low-key, at once easygoing and poignant.
Blender - Stephen Holden
Jones's sense of quiet -- her refusal to scream, belt and growl, ornament a melody ostentatiously or play the piano more than just functionally -- marks her as a rebel against the notion of the pop star as a competitive, in-your-face diva.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2004
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724358480009
catalogNumber:
84800
Rank:
1247

Tracks

  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

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Norah Jones   Primary Artist,Piano,Electric Piano,Vocals,Pump Organ,Wurlitzer
Dolly Parton   Vocals
Brian Blade   Drums
Levon Helm   Drums
Garth Hudson   Accordion,Hammond Organ
Tony Scherr   Electric Guitar
Kevin Breit   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Banjolin,Foot Percussion,Foot Stomping,Guitar (Resonator)
Jane Scarpantoni   Cello
Rob Burger   Pump Organ
Andrew Borger   Drums,Snare Drums,Box
Adam Levy   Electric Guitar
David Gold   Viola
Daru Oda   Flute,Background Vocals
Handsome Band   Accompaniment
Jesse Harris & The Ferdinandos   Acoustic Guitar
Lee Alexander   Bass,Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass,Lap Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Tom Waits   Composer
Kathleen Brennan   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Richard Julian   Composer
Arif Mardin   Producer,String Arrangements
Jay Newland   Engineer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Kevin Breit   Composer
Burton Yount   Design Production Assistant
Andrew Borger   Composer
Adam Levy   Composer
Norah Jones   Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Engineer
Daru Oda   Composer
Lee Alexander   Composer

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Feels Like Home 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stacey_Foreman More than 1 year ago
I love Norah's extremely laid back, mellow and quasi-reggae sound. The first song "Sunrise" is a mixture of solid tempo yet with many measures sung in a variety of patameters. Norah's voice and accompianment are relaxing, and the CD is music to listen to if you need to get things done to a pleasant, soft and soothing background sound. Definitely can take a nap to her and she can enhance a good mood or get you in a better one. Well done in my opinion, however please watch for future CDs which have repeats. I have recommended a few below which have mainly original tracks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this cd is BETTER than "Come Away with Me". The rhythums and moods in this cd are far more diverse and just as appealing. This cd has more "Norah" to offer. Her vocals are more confident but she left her signature bluesy-folksy-jazzy melodious artistry in tact. "Sunrise", "Carnival Town" and "What Am I to You?" are all instant and powerful favorites of mine. Even with her understated volume Norah has created yet another huge explosion in music. This cd is exciting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This anticipated album was not as good as her first. Such a beautiful voice but a bad choice of songs. The album starts off with some good ballads unfortunately as you continue it becomes more country styled music....different strokes for different folks!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Think this album is wonderful! Definitely different than "Come Away With Me" but that's what makes it so refreshing. It's like losing touch with a high school pal and then seeing each other at the mall ten years later. It's still Norah Jones, but she's just growing up, and it's a beautiful maturation. If it doesn't catch ya at first, listen to it again- You'll appreciate it more, and then by the 5th spin you'll fall in love with Jones' music all over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is also a great work from Noarh Jones. Although most of the songs are similiar to the "comw away with my", there are some difference when you listen to it more seriously.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another sure thing. Norah is a rare bird whose music simply delights and demands nothing from the listener. It's soothing, you can understand every word, and she instantly transports you to where she is. I wasn't expecting a Dolly Parton duet, but it works!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Quit reading reviews and go buy this CD, if you liked her first album I'm positive you'll enjoy these tracks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Norah Jones' Feels Like Home Album is easy listening, easy to sing along with, relaxing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This girl can do no wrong... even if she were singing tv jingles, her voice is heavenly. This CD is awesome!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I simply loved this CD. Norah Jones is a value musician; I can't say that about anyone in her age group. Every song is simply superb. I bet this album will bag at least five grammys and sell another 17 million albums like her last album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVED "Come Away With Me" and was overjoyed when this was released. But,at the first listen, I was slightly disappointed. Since then, I've come to love the CD as much as the first one. Norah's voice is bigger and more expressive on this CD without being forced or harsh. The song selection is decidedly more country-oriented (which is what initially put me off) but now I've decided that I like the variety. Overall, a wonderful CD and a definite must buy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
.... it grew on me. When I took my first listen at this most coveted CD, I was strangely disappointed. The style was a wee bit different from her debut. The more I listened to it though, Norah's new songs began to reawaken my love for her music. This new collection of songs, both original and remakes, is the kind that shows you the diversity of a true musician!
gsokolic More than 1 year ago
Very nice to listen to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really did not see a change from come away with me. I enjoyed the song sunrise and two others but all in all there is not much of a difference from the last album. Sorry norah. Next time take some time to find who you want to help produce with you on your next album. You are a great artist but this album needed more time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
norah can do no wrong... Although much different than come away with me, feels like home is refreshing, beautiful and entertaining. much more appealing than many of today's lip-syncing pop stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a writer who writes with music in the background, and it's usually Baroque or something really low key, but this album never disappears into the "background." It is rich and, in my opinion, even better than "Come Away with Me." The instrumentals and lyrics just sort of "creep" into your psyche and keep you going effortlessly. I absolutely love to come home to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Too much country sound. Miss the jazz and blues sound that was on her previous CD. Still love her voice and think she does a great job on In The Morning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
love it...a different feeling than the last album come away with me...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Come Away With Me was a disco-fever CD in comparison to Feels Like Home. The best songs, hands down, on the CD are the ones she covered. The worst song is her collaboration with Dolly Parton and taking a close second are collectively the songs she wrote with Lee Alexander. Sorry Norah, but the best career moves you could make would be to leave Lee with the responsibilities of lover/guitarist, write your own songs or make Jesse Harris your contract songwriter. Better luck next time...
Guest More than 1 year ago
On first listen this album is really boring. Give it a second shot and the songs stick to you. The lyrics are beautifully simple, and as always, Norah's vocals are amazing. Some say this album is too mellow, then what do they make of "Come Away with Me", which in my opinion is much more so? Favorite songs are: Sunrise, Don't Miss You at All, Those Sweet Words, The Prettiest Thing. However, they're all good, and they really do feel like home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Norah has a beautiful voice that is so calming and relaxing. Feels Like Home's first three songs are beautiful with a country, jazz, folk and blues mix. KEEP IT UP NORAH!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is so refreshing and absolutely wonderful
Guest More than 1 year ago
I admire Norah Jones' 2nd album because she sticks to more bluesy jazz and resist the temptation to make a more pop album that would have sold more records. A true artist unlike those formulaic pop singers that surfacing like weeds these days.