Mon. May 27th, 2024

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

Album Review: Norah Jones – Visions

3 min read

With nine Grammys under her belt, Norah Jones knows how to make a good album. And her ninth studio album Visions is no exception. Blending her jazz lounge singer roots with a soul-filled psychedelic sound, Jones creates an almost narrative album. 

Describing the album as being set in “that moment right before sleep” Jones ensures this dreamlike quality permeates through the tracks. The first track All This Time sets the tone for the album with a slow beat and drifting piano line, that lulls you into the world of Visions. 

With Staring at the Wall Jones leans into the folk style she explored in her fourth studio Album The Fall. With the snare line and American Southern references in the songwriting, the track feels country-inspired and is perhaps the biggest departure in style in the album.

Paradise is a more mournful number that continues the dreamy throughline with a hypnotizing use of layered sound. Queen of the Sea once again takes inspiration from folk music, however it combines the dreamier this with the tones from Paradise to create a gorgeous song, that shows off Jones’s talents as a singer and songwriter.

Coming halfway through the album the title track Visions pares back the production to be almost acoustic with only a limited accompaniment to Jones’ voice. This again allows Jones’s vocals to be centre stage. Ending with the lyrics “its time to say goodbye” the song marks a narrative shift in the album. The next track Running is a song that Jones described as being jolted awake, and coming after the slower songs its powerful build and fast pace certainly make it seem like you’re returning to the land of the waking.

I Just Wanna Dance is a short and deceptively simple song, with limited lyrics to the repeated: “I just want to dance”. Despite this, the captivating drumline and powerful production prevent it from becoming repetitive and instead bring back the hypnotising sound of Paradise.

I Awake is the song with the most influence coming from Jones’ background as a Jazz singer, it follows in Running’s footsteps reaching a powerful crescendo and the lyrics of awakening.

With Swept Up in the Night and On My Way, the slower tempo returns bringing with it soulful jazzy tones. Jones combines this with romantic lyrics and a more optimistic tone as the album draws to a close. The next song Alone with My Thought is the slowest yet, with an almost lullaby-like melody. As if we are being lulled back to sleep after the awakening.

Ending the album That’s Life, is more fast-paced again, perhaps more similar to I’m Awake than the three songs preceding it but ending the album not on a dreamlike tone but on a more upbeat note. With Visions Jones has captured not just a sound but a feeling, and while it may not be an album to introduce you to her music, it’s a powerful addition to her repertoire.