Do you remember Norah Jones? Sweet, innocent-sounding, big-eyed, pretty little Norah Jones?
So with that Norah Jones in mind, imagine my horror, when I came across this:
I mean who is this girl? Where did Norah go? Help me understand, someone?!
Before I proceed though, I must clarify that when I say horror, I mean a pleasant kind of surprise. A shock, that’s grabs you by the collar at first, but leaves you with a smile. As you settle into the track, you sense a distant familiarity, tinged with a new kind of confidence. Because Norah has shed away her good-girl-with-a-mellow-voice skin. And what has emerged is an absolute lioness, if I may say so. She’s turned into this badass, well-rounded, lady, I may say so. And I am loving her new avatar. I mean, check out the CD cover.
Still the same melodious voice, but with so much more body. Still the same pretty girl, but with so much more oomph. Still the perfectly soothing voice, but so versatile. And from then on it was like tumbling from one undiscovered Norah Jones album to the next. And she has quite a few.
Am I the only person who didn’t know she had an entire album dedicated to collaborations? With the likes of Ray Charles? Dolly Parton? And get this, Dave Grohl?!
And all of it just reeks confidence. Its oozing from every note, and that’s what I loved about her new album.
With Little Broken Hearts, Norah has gone from a quietly missable, nonconventoinal voice in the shadows, to a force to contend with. You may or may not like her style, but you definitely cannot ignore her. This album bellows that kind of shut-up-and-listen energy. And can I just say, I love what I hear.
But for those of you that are sorely missing the Norah that was, here’s another number I’ve had on loop this week. Also from another collaboration with the Peter Malick Band. So good. And perfect for weeks where the rain just wont relent and the skies don’t seem to want any sunshine.
Norah, not to say I loved you any less when I first heard you, way back in 2002. But you’ve come a long, long way. And I think the journey was worth the time.