Compared to Begin Again, Norah’s new album is better in consistentcy rather than random tunes. But it’s weird to hear that this album is only a compilation of surplus material from her most recent batch of songs. This makes me wonder if the silhouettes of random moments in her life might be more representative of her experiences.
While preserving its integrity, the album conjured up a wide range of moods and emotions. Though she’s always shown some serious talent, I’m really feeling her voice through the very first and this album. There’s an effortlessly beautiful tone and flow to her singing, steamy surely.
The throughout album maintains the right vibe and explodes with simmering emotions on some of the tracks. There’s variety, but nothing feels out of place, no black sheep to be found(same in the deluxe version). The first part of the album starts with overcasts and ends with great fanfare in repeating Find A Way Out. This album is about fear, uncertainty and grief. But after the first four tracks, it finds a better tone of letting the grim fade away with each passing day-HOPE. This motivation drives tracks six to eight, and the mini-concept is evident even in the titles of the tracks, it’s all about life. She was subsequently able to take a more expansive view of her life – from her affections to the entire world that was dividing. Although the reality is harsh, as the album title "Pick me up off the floor" suggests, she still has hope for the world.
Standout cuts include "Hurts to Be Alone", arguably the catchiest track that also happens to be one of the jazziest structurally. "Heartbroken, Day After", the conclusion of the first segment, is a good guide to the repertoires that follow, and is the most powerful track. "Flame Twin" meshes the jazz, blues and pop seamlessly, bringing me back to the "Come Away with me" era.
Years ago, I might have conceivably felt a bit fidgety after the halfway mark, but time has broadened my appreciation for soothing stuff, and Norah knows how to soothe. I’m not completely on board with this album at first, and it took multiple listens to get around to perceive some of the deeper cuts, but the vocals and piano are still impressive even it’s the first time to hear it.