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Little Willies – The Little Willies

I have mixed reactions to Norah Jones’ music. See, I really love her sound. I think she can really sing, she can really play, and that breathy sort of sweetness she brings to her songs is welcome indeed. I hope she has a long, brilliant career. Still, I can’t listen to an entire CD of hers in one sitting. It sounds too much the same. Her singing, smooth as it is, never really changes. I don’t want to say monotone, ‘cos it ain’t, but my thought about her range is still there. Now, I like to put one song of hers on a mixed CD every now and then, mind you, and I’ll still buy her albums. Never know when the mood’ll strike, ya know?

This CD is a little out of the ordinary, for her, and that’s why I love it the best. I like the original songs a lot, and the covers here are well-chosen and well-played. The musicianship is, of course, completely excellent. I also really like that it isn’t her singing all the time. Uh-oh, here he goes again… All I mean is that the chance to mix it up with Richard Julian’s vocals is great, makes it feel more balanced.

I keep giving and taking like this, I’ll probably piss off Jones’ biggest fans, like your Mom.

Not that I have anything against your Mom.

Honest.

Look, this is a great CD. If you want a fun, rollicking sound that can also swing easy and even hurtful (as good country should) this is the disc for you. That said, the attempts at humour here are passably good, but they make me want to run to my Carolyn Mark collection for the best of the best at such things, and in terms of power and passion I’d still head first to Neko Case (or Mark, again, for that matter) but that’s just because I’m biased and totally in love with both those ladies’ albums.

In sum, of all the Norah Jones records I like this one the best (so far). It’s fun, light and beautiful. It pushes all the right buttons, twangs when it should, and I play it fairly regularly. You could do a hell of a lot worse than buying this CD. The fact that I think you could do better, too, is just my own little opinion. I also hope that this is the only time she attempts something like this. Another in this vein would be forced. I like the idea of this as a one-off in the midst of all of her Lite FM-friendly bazillion-selling same-sounding jazzier records.

And if you read this in time, go sign up for Amazon.ca’s Mother’s Day contest to go see Jones’ concert at Theatre St-Denis in Montréal in May. I wouldn’t mind seeing her live, and who could pass up a free trip to Montréal? Sure as hell not me! I absolutely LOVE that town!

If I win, I’m taking your Mom.

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