Feels Like Home [Deluxe Edition]

Feels Like Home [Deluxe Edition]

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. AgainSee more details below

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.

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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. [The deluxe edition of Feels Like Home contains three unreleased songs and a bonus DVD featuring four live performances, two music videos, and an interview with Norah Jones.]
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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/21/2004
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724359997209
catalogNumber:
99972

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Norah Jones   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Pump Organ,Wurlitzer
Dolly Parton   Vocals
Brian Blade   Drums
Levon Helm   Drums
Garth Hudson   Accordion,Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Tony Scherr   Electric Guitar
Kevin Breit   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Cavaquinho,Banjolin,Foot Stomping,Guitar (Resonator)
Jane Scarpantoni   Cello
Jesse Harris   Acoustic Guitar
Rob Burger   Pump Organ
Sam Yahel   Hammond Organ
Andrew Borger   Drums,Snare Drums,Box
Adam Levy   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
David Gold   Viola
Daru Oda   Flute,Background Vocals
Lee Alexander   Bass,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Double Bass,Acoustic Bass,Lap Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Gram Parsons   Composer
Tom Waits   Composer
Kathleen Brennan   Composer
Felice Bryant   Composer
Boudleaux Bryant   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Chris Ethridge   Composer
Richard Julian   Composer
Arif Mardin   Producer,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Jay Newland   Engineer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
George Wyle   Composer
Kevin Breit   Composer
Chris Haynes   Engineer
Quinton Williams   Video Director
Bob Michaels   Audio Master
Sandy Taylor   Marketing
Andrew Borger   Composer
Adam Levy   Composer
Norah Jones   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Rupesh Pattni   Graphic Design
Eddie Escalante   Authoring
A.J. Lara   Digital Editing
Kehni Davis   Quality Control
James Frost   Video Director
Caithn Cassaro   Producer
Jason Desmond   Digital Editing
Daru Oda   Composer
Lee Alexander   Composer

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