michael gallucci

ALBUM REVIEW — NORAH JONES

In album review on 10/20/2010 at 11:33 am

NORAH JONES

… Featuring

(Blue Note)

This 18-track compilation of Norah Jones’ duets over the past decade shows off the singer’s versatility, as she takes on everything from funk and hard rock to hip-hop and country. Her list of collaborators is equally as impressive: the Foo Fighters, OutKast, Belle & Sebastian, Willie Nelson. But Jones is only as good as her partners and the songs she’s given, and too often … Featuring goes down the most obvious paths. Her duet with Nelson on the holiday chestnut “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is frigid, and the Joni Mitchell cover “Court & Spark” (with jazz pianist Herbie Hancock) is sparkless. The best tracks are the ones where Jones cozies up to lesser-known singing partners and wraps her warm voice around the material: “Turn Them” with Sean Bones, “Bull Rider” with Sasha Dobson, and “Soon the Day” with Talib Kweli. She’s not so boring when she gets out of her comfort zone.

 

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