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Feels Like Home

Release Date: 
Norah Jones
Star Rating: 
5 out of 10
There’s nothing much to dislike about Norah Jones, except maybe the fact that there’s nothing much to dislike about her. Her second album has the same sort of pleasant, lived-in charm as her massive debut (17 million sold and counting!), cementing her status as queen of all that is unobjectionable. Acoustic guitars play a more pronounced role here than Norah’s piano, and most of the debut’s jazzier trimmings are less apparent, giving way to flashes of country and a consistently mellow blues groove. Her spare Johnny Cash–style treatment of the Tom Waits tune “The Long Way Home” certainly works, and Dolly Parton adds some welcome vocal grit to the bluegrass shuffle “Creepin’ In.” But Jones’ voice is so mannered and pretty that she can’t make lines like “I know I’m your slave” sound appropriately desperate. Hey, this is a nice album: True to its title, it does feel like home. But, much like a trip back home, it’s soon apparent why you left.