Saturday, November 20, 2010

Review of . . . Featuring Norah Jones

After listening to Norah Jones's newest album, a collection of musical collaborations spanning her career titled  . . . Featuring, I can only think of one word to describe her voice and her talent: ethereal.  It is her voice and the arrangement of these songs that transforms the songs.   In particular, she takes what I call "Patsy Cline country" songs (like "Bullrider" and "Love Me") and inflects them with the same longing Cline did while at the same time steeping them in a contemporary blues-y sound.  Some of the songs are classics made new, some are original collaborations that span an incredible range.  

What artist has collaborated with Willie Nelson and Outkast?  “It's so exciting and flattering and fun when I get asked to sing with somebody that I admire,” says Jones. “It takes you a little bit out of your comfort zone when you're doing something with another artist. You don't know what to expect—it's kind of like being a little kid and having a playdate.”  Several of the songs have appeared on Grammy-winning albums.  This collection is an analog of Jones's own albums spanning her career.  You can see her range and reach as a musician as you listen to this CD. Jones points out that “even though the musicians are so varied, the vibe of the songs makes sense when we put them all together.” 

My favorite songs on the album where the ones with hip-hop artists like "Life Is Better" with Q-Tip and "Soon The New Day" with Talib Kweli but this has more to do with the kind of music I like than with Jones's work.  The reworking of "Blue Bayou" (with M. Ward) and "More Than This" (with Charlie Hunter) feature gorgeously lush vocals.  The range of this collection is broad with the unifying factor being Jones and it all works.  I'm going to enjoy playing this CD while prepping for the upcoming holiday season.  Its kind of like Norah Jones's present to us all this year.

For the latest news, tour dates and more, check out Norah's website, Facebook and YouTube Channel.
The tracks on . . . Featuring are listed below.  You can buy your favorites from the album or the entire collection here.

...Featuring Track Listing:
1. Love Me – The Little Willies
2. Virginia Moon – The Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones
3. Turn Them – Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones
4. Baby It's Cold Outside – Willie Nelson featuring Norah Jones
5. Bull Rider – Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson
6. Ruler Of My Heart – Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Norah Jones
7. The Best Part – El Madmo  
8. Take Off Your Cool – OutKast featuring Norah Jones
9. Life Is Better – Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones
10. Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
11. Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian featuring Norah Jones
12. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles featuring Norah Jones
13. Loretta – Norah Jones featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
14. Dear John – Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones
15. Creepin' In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
16. Court & Spark – Herbie Hancock featuring Norah Jones
17. More Than This – Charlie Hunter featuring Norah Jones
18. Blue Bayou – Norah Jones featuring M. Ward

I did not receive any compensation for my review of . . . Featuring Norah Jones although I was given the CD to facilitate this review and I am entered to win a gift card through One2One Network.  Any and all opinions here are my own.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a very interesting album. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the review!

    Alyssa Ast


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