wears the trousers magazine

norah jones: the fall (2009)
November 22, 2009, 11:06 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: ,

Norah Jones
The Fall •••½
Blue Note

In 2002 you couldn’t draw breath while watching commercial TV without exposure to an advert for Norah Jones’s debut album Come Away With Me. With an interesting back story (she’s the daughter of the world’s most famous sitar player, Ravi Shankar), a mellow pop-jazz sound that offended no one, and a voice that was the aural equivalent of a multi-functional soothing lozenge, she eased her effortless way into dinner party ubiquity like a side salad and a bottle of Rioja. This grated parmesan of an artist seemed fitting for an era of economic confidence and contemporary apartment blocks in every city centre. Filed a few places along from David Gray in the collections of people who buy their CDs in Tesco, by all rights she ought to be sounding a little tired now the economic bubble has burst and those apartment blocks stand half empty; there is only so much coffee-table jazz a global recession can justify.

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thao with the get down stay down: know better learn faster (2009)
November 22, 2009, 10:57 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , ,

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down
Know Better Learn Faster •••••
Kill Rock Stars

Know Better Learn Faster, Thao Nguyen’s third full length release, marks her second album recorded with backing band The Get Down Stay Down (Adam and Willis Thompson) and with producer Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Laura Veirs, Spoon). Fresh off the release of her collaboration with The Portland Cello Project, this album sees an expanding of scope, in terms of both the musical production and the depth of her lyrics, while losing none of her taste for the whimsical. As Nguyen herself said: “The album is named Know Better Learn Faster because you can’t. By the time you realise you should, it’s too late. And I enjoy the predicament and the totally devastating, unfunny humour of that.”

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