Norah Jones is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter who shot to fame following the release of her multi-platinum selling 2002 debut, Come Away With Me. Since then, the Brooklyn-born artist’s popularity has only grown, making perfect sense since talent runs in the family. Norah’s father is the late sitar great and Beatles influencer, Ravi Shankar. Her half-sister, Anoushka Shankar, also is a highly successful music artist and composer. With that mind, here are ten of Norah Jones’ best songs.
In 2005, Norah Jones was a member of the Sin City All Stars, which released Return To Sin City, A Tribute To Gram Parsons. On track 17, Jones teams with perennial Rolling Stones favorite, Keith Richards, for a rendition of “Love Hurts,” written by Boudleux Bryant and made famous by Gram Parsons and a young Emmylou Harris. Richards has a special connection to Parsons from when the two used to hang out together, á la Wild Horses. But that’s a whole other story.
From Jones’ smash album, Come Away With Me, “Shoot The Moon” remains a fan favorite. With a gentle melody and vibe, Norah’s subtle approach is calmly compelling. But then again, so is she. It’s no wonder Jones has been a critical as well as popular success.
Norah Jones has a winning low key but driving music formula that is hard to recreate. That style is exemplified in “Young Blood.” Written by Jones and backing vocalist Mike Martin, don’t confuse this with the 50s classic from The Coasters. Nevertheless, if you haven’t done it yet, give the tune a try. The video also is great.
Jones struck gold again in 2004 with the release of Feels Like Home. The opening track, “Sunrise,” was a huge best-selling single. The Grammy Award winning original is one of Jones’ best and a gem. Norah’s brand of pop retains a level of sophistication and charm that elevates her music a bit above the rest.
Norah Jones and cowriter Brian Burton, alias Danger Mouse, deserve kudos just for coming up with the title. Arguably the top pick from 2012’s Little Broken Hearts, “Happy Pills” has a haunting yet winning melody. This has become a crowd pleaser at Jones’ shows.
A moody R&B-ish cut with Norah’s typical charisma, the 70s sounding electric piano riffs work well within the groove. This time around, Jones delivers up a blues-rock specialty of which Little Feat’s Billy Payne would be proud. All of this and Norah’s voice means you can’t go wrong here.
One of the rare Norah Jones covers, the artist reinterprets the Hank Williams’ song with a quirky bass heavy lick that binds everything together. From Jones’ debut album, while not strictly a country-western song, the track is still terrific.
When Norah Jones tackles a cover song, look out because the results are usually remarkable. A case in point is Jones’ reworking of Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s stroke of genius, “The Nearness of You.” If this doesn’t speak of romance, nothing else will. A girl and her piano can be a powerful thing.
Any discussion of Norah Jones will eventually find its way back to her first album. That just can’t be helped due to the overwhelming number of fine songs, including the title track. Plainly speaking, “Come Away With Me” is 3:18 of understated elegance. There’s nothing else to say.
This is the song that initially put Norah Jones on the map. It might not be her biggest seller, but this is the one that first drew major attention to the artist. It’s that good. Written by Jessie Harris, “Don’t Know Why” has become a signature song for Jones at concerts. Others have performed and recorded “Don’t Know Why,” but Norah Jones rendering of Harris’s melody remains the definitive choice.