Wednesday, August 29, 2018

"Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones (150 Albums by Women #140)

NPR compiled a list of the 150 greatest albums created by women. I've decided to listen to these albums, from #150 all the way up to #1. But to give myself a bit of forward momentum and have a sense of when I was "done" with each album, my method is to listen to the album one time all the way through, then with each subsequent listen, I'd remove my least favorite. This lets me listen to the best ones most frequently without having to sit through too many that didn't work for me at all.

Album #141, Joanna Newsom's "Ys," was not available on Spotify, so we're skipping over that for the moment and moving on to #140, "Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones. So far, this album is tied with the Alicia Keys album for having songs I already know. I knew four of these already and really liked three of them. The album as a whole is very soothing, chill, dreamy easy listening. I ended up having a bit of trouble telling some of these songs apart, but I was definitely able to pick out a few favorites. Here were my top 5.

5. I've Got to See You Again. An early favorite that ultimately slid down the more I listened to it (I initially thought it might end up my #1). At first I think I was drawn to it solely because it was different from the rest of the album -- more robust, less wispy. Eventually, while I still enjoyed it, it slipped down a bit below a few others that I really loved. I still like the sound of it enough to toss it in the top five, but just when I thought I might get rid of one of the other four, this one made its way out instead.

4. Shoot the Moon. This one is the reverse situation of the previous song, in that I didn't care about it much at first, and it just kept growing on me. There's something beautifully sad and melancholy about it, and Jones' voice totally sells it. It's just a simple, pretty, sad song, and I like it a lot.

3. Cold, Cold Heart. One of the very few songs on the album Jones herself didn't write. This one was actually a Hank Williams tune that I knew existed but was mostly unfamiliar with, and I really enjoyed this introduction to it. It's equal parts playful and sad, which is a fascinating combination. Actually, that juxtaposition seems to be a theme for the album, because...

2. Feelin' the Same Way. This is one of the four I already knew. A friend put it on a mix CD for me years ago, and even then I liked how it was both happy and sad. It's sort of an upbeat tune. It sounds hopeful. But the lyrics really aren't, very much, and I like those two together. I especially like the melody for this.

1. Turn Me On. Another one I already knew, and I thought maybe it would slide down in my list because I knew it so well. But it only got better, and I found myself loving it more and more every time I heard it. It's so slinky and intimate and beautifully sung. I'm glad I got the chance to fall back in love with this song.

The albums I've listened to thus far in this project, in order:

  1. The Roches - The Roches
  2. Robyn - Body Talk
  3. Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
  4. The Breeders - Last Splash
  5. Patty Griffin - Flaming Red
  6. Iris Dement - My Life
  7. Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
  8. Oumou Sangaré - Moussolou
  9. Terri Lyne Carrington - The Mosaic Project

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