Customer Review

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely NOT 'Mule Variations'..., 21 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Fall (Audio CD)
Norah apparently chose Tom Waits and Kings of Leon producer Jacquire King to produce this record because she is such a fan of Tom's `Mule Variations' CD. Unfortunately `The Fall' doesn't sound like `Mule Variations', rather it retains the smoothness of Norah's previous record `Not too late' - without any of the rawness or quirkiness of Mr. Waits. Although much has been made of her break with her former partner and bass player Lee Alexander and the Handsome Band in truth the overall sound here isn't that different from her previous records, perhaps a little less jazzy with less piano. Mark Ribot on guitar is very restrained, with none of the edge and weirdness I usually associate with him.

We do get off to a great start with "Chasing Pirates" (with its nice electric piano) closely followed by "Light as a feather" (co-written by Ryan Adams), which sounds like an out-take from `Feels like home' and then the provocative "I wouldn't need you. However, as the record progresses some of the songs' openings like "Waiting", "It's gonna be" and "Stuck" suggest something different, something earthier but as soon as Norah's voice comes in she seems to calm everything down and smooth everything out.

I think that Norah does need a change of sound but for me this record isn't it and I certainly don't see this as the radical change that others have commented on. This is a very professional, mature record but for me just a little too restrained and too bland. Her various side projects have shown that Norah can do very different material and therefore I'm afraid that I feel this is a missed opportunity to achieve a radically different sound.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Nov 2009 20:39:31 GMT
Did you hope that she was going to TURN into Tom Waits? Isn't one of him enough? Credit her, at least, with still trying to be herself with a few new clothes on.

Posted on 27 Nov 2009 16:28:41 GMT
Errrrrr no, I didn't think she was going to turn into Tom Waits (nor did I want her to!) I just thought that a new producer and a new band could (should?) have given her a new sound. I'm not a big Tom Waits fan but like Norah I also really like 'Mule Variations' and I would have loved to hear her with rawer, more adventurous production and backing. In effect she's just swapped one set of New York session men for another set of New York session men.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Dec 2009 10:27:37 GMT
Yes, and with that swap came a different sound to her last records, no matter the degree of 'raw adventure'.
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