Saturday, November 21, 2009

Norah Jones's "Chasing Pirates"

Norah Jones released "The Fall" this past week. I downloaded Chasing Pirates and Waiting.

Waiting reminds me very much of the Cowboy Junkies. I listened to the Junkies a lot the second year I was living in Boston, and for a couple of years afterwards, but I have not listened to them much since. My favorite was always Jane ("sweet sweet Jane").

Chasing Pirates is the first single. It's catchy and Jones's voice sounds beautiful. I can't say it's a song I'll be listening to for years to come, but after the wedding slide show I've got very good associations with Norah Jones.

Jody Rosen (at Slate's Brow Beat, here) is not impressed with the new album. Here's an excerpt from his funny critique (I especially like the Sade reference):
The problem is Norah, full stop. She can't write songs; she has poor taste in other people's songs. The songs just aren't good enough.

She's got a wonderful voice, I'm crazy about it—a lovely sound that's all her own. But she has yet to put it to anything close to optimal use.

I hasten to point out: I'm not saying Norah's too wimpy, too easy listening. I'm probably Sade's biggest fan. But there's a difference between soft and dull.

On "Chasing Pirates" the crackerjack band merely accentuates the underlying issue: bad source material. Also, the lyric—oy, the cutesiness! "I'm having the squeams," she sings. That makes two of us.

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