Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

I have never been able to sing to save my life, and it is something I have made my peace with over the years. However, I whole-heartedly admire those who do sing, including Harry and Tejas and am content with being the only WeTheMember with zero vocal abilities.

One voice, in particular, I fell in love with some years ago, and I wished and hoped and prayed that her voice were mine. Despite the fact that after her debut album, much of her music has been disappointing, I stayed true to my love of her voice, her lazy croon, a voice that always made me want to curl up under covers with a book and a great sense of well-being. I stayed loyal to Norah Jones’ warm jazzy croon for 9 years, including the release of her new album, The Fall. 

While I downloaded The Fall in November, somehow I never found the time to listen to it until some days ago, on a long bus ride in an attempt to mar my thoughts. Norah didn’t let me down. While her last few albums have been mediocre imitations of her debut album “Come Away With Me”, her latest album shows that YES, she is willing to experiment with her beautiful voice, and isn’t afraid to step out of her comfort zone. Instead of falling back, yet again, into her jazzy/bluesy comfort zone, Jones has now stepped into rocknroll, leaving her trusty piano behind to embrace a guitar instead. 

The Fall, the result of a painful break-up, is a beautiful album that reaches out to lonely nights and heartache. Her lyrics are raw and honest, and soothe you where it hurts. Listening to this album, gives you the same comfort that a bartender gives you over many martinis. He doesn’t know you, but he exudes understanding. Norah Jones and I have never met, but in the three hours I spent with her in a bus, I knew that on some strange level, she understood. 

My personal favorites in The Fall, are “Back to Manhattan”, where in her unique voice she sings, “I’ll go back to Manhattan/ It’s just a train ride away/ I know nothing ’bout leaving/ but I know I should do it today” I identified with it instantly, because if you switched Manhattan for Sharjah, and a train for a bus, that was me in a nutshell. My other favorite is “Man of the Hour”, which is Jones’ ballad to her dog, where she croons: "And though we’ll never take a shower together/I know you’ll never make me cry/You never argue/You don’t even talk/And I like the way you let me lead you when we go outside and walk/Will you really be my only man of the hour?” A song that not only made me think of Harry and the comfort he derives from his dogs (a comfort that made me jealous sometimes), it also gave me my first smile in days. 

And since just recently, I listened to someone wax poetic on converting pain into art, my admiration for Norah Jones has now transcended into more than just coveting her voice. She took her pain, and her brokenness and she used it. She reinvented herself, removed herself from what was comfortable, and leaped. Even the most ardent haters of Norah Jones cant call The Fall yet another reproduction of her debut album. She took a risk, and emerged triumphant. She fell and is better for her Fall. 

P.S – The dog on the cover, is unfortunately NOT Norah Jones’s man of the hour. He is just a beautiful dog named Ben. Her actual Man of the Hour, is a 20 pound poodle, who according to Norah Jones, would have created chaos if allowed on any set. Ben, in my opinion however, would be the perfect Man of any Hour, non? Isnt he just beautiful? 

5 responses to "Norah Jones: Falling in Love with The Fall"

  1. Awesome...the album that exudes the same sentiment is battle studies. John Mayer understands much in the same way. And those who know heartbreak must listen to it.


  2. Tis true that. Especially with his Heartbreak Warfare and Perfectly Lonely. He is just as understanding as her, in the same but different ways. If that makes any sense.


  3. I haven't listened to the album yet but I certainly will now. We do love artists taking risks...I'm yet to get over my Paolo man crush.


  4. Well, thats just because any sane human being would crush on Paolo. He truly is God, just with better hair.


  5. That IS some beautifully sung stuff. Loved the album.


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