Jones is a master musician who can belt or bellow through any song that she chooses. She is the standard for anyone looking for the sultry southern female who can ache her way through a painful standard, while straddling a guitar and plucking just the right chords to make the listener’s heart go oomph. That being said, there is a mood created and needed to listen to this album of covers. It is NOT an “Oh hey, I know that song,” but a faithful and deep interpretation of good songs that Jones has made her own.
There are standouts. Her rendition of “Jesus, Etc.” by Wilco, is a wistful and blistering summer of sitting on a porch and waiting for the first summer rain to come and dampen the earth for a few hours, before the sun drives it away again. The subtle duet of “Hands on the Wheel,” live in Austin, and featuring the talented and ubiquitous musician M.Ward, is a scorching ballad that overcomes distance to rekindle a sodden flame of two lovers.
The majesty of Covers, is that it transforms Jones into what she is best. A balladeer behind the piano, with a husky voice, or behind the guitar with hair dripping over her forehead and a self conscious but powerful voice delivering the best lines. Covers is a compendium of songs that may have never been allowed to see the light, concert highlights, rare b-sides, and Norah Jones making each sound a little sexier than they need to be.
In music, there is a constant need for the slow dance, the emotions on the shoulder, tears dripping with each plucked guitar string, and Covers provides a host of opportunity. Let Jones replace the original, let her steady vocals guide the new versions into your heart, where they will break it every second you let them stay inside.
Covers is sold exclusively at Target. It can be purchased here.