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Reviews: Norah Jones: Come Away With Me

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Reviews: 26

Review by Tom June 25, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
Yes. A very unique vocal sound. I like it. I find the entire album easy to listen.

I also concur that it's well recorded, but not perfect. I would rate sonics 4.5.

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Review by Marc P July 12, 2003 (0 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I bought this disc when it just came out, and even then I thought it was pretty boring. Now it don't think it's pretty boring anymore, I totally hate it. Man this disc just puts me to sleep. Norah Jones is probably the most over rated singer out there. If I never hear this album again it will be to soon.

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Review by Luffy July 21, 2003 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I personally loved the musical content of this disc. It is one of those CDs you can just pop in and listen to and unwind at the end of the day. While the music in SACD is very nice sounding and clear because of the format, I had to give the sonics a low score of 3 points because the multichannel mix was just not good. The multichannel mix for the most part reminds me of the stereo mix but with a few instruments thrown into the surround channels. It doesn't feel as though the multichannel mix was planned out well. As a comparison, the same stereo tracks running through a Logic 7 processor seem more alive than the multichannel mix and would be my prefered listening choice. So overall I would still recommend this disc for the musical content and the SACD stereo tracks, but if your looking for a good multichannel mix for this particular disc I couldn't recommend the ones presented here (your Logic 7 or Dolby Prologic II music surround processing modes will probably sound better).

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Review by jimmyjames8 July 22, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
You probably alreay have the CD but if you have an SACD player you should get this edition and sell your cd. There is more "there" there as they say but the original cd issue sounded pretty good. The SACD edition is hybrid multichannel so you get 2ch sacd, 5.1 sacd and 2ch cd all for the price of one shiney disc. The surround mix is just OK but 5.1 is my default listening mode since getting a sub and a Marantz 8400. There is a reason this disc won 8 grammys and it's not just because the only competition was Emminem.

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Review by Khorn August 18, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
There seems to be a bit of opposing opinion in the reviews of this disc and, if you would have asked my thoughts after I had listened to it for the first time I would have tended to agree with nucaleena....not now though.

Upon second and subsequent listenings I am liking this disc more and more. There is more depth to the backing istrumentals than I first thought and Norah's ability to interperate the material goes well beyond her unique voice. I would imagine that the character of her voice was what attracted many listeners initially.

One thought that might seem strange to some: I would really like to hear Norah do some of the material that Patsy Cline did so well, I think she would be great at it.

Sound and performance are "real good".

Listened to in 2 channel stereo.

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Review by peteyspambucket September 3, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
I really agree with nucaleena. I can't believe how popular this album is when the music making is so uninspired and monotonous. The sound is OK, but nothing to get excited about or use as a reference for realism or lifelike tone quality.

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Review by dorokusai September 15, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
I love her voice, BUT the songs do tend to sound alike. The recording is excellent, and I do enjoy it as a background source for music...not wine in hand, sitting in special chair type music. ; - )
It is certainly worth buying IMO. I really hope my SACD luck continues with good picks.

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Review by Marcsten October 1, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
I was interested to see what all the hoopla was about, so I downloaded some mp3's of this album. I was impressed by the emotion in her voice, and the tonal quality as well.I loaded it on my mp3 player and listened to it alot. I got to know all the songs well, and appreciated them more each time I heard them. Then I downloaded some songs not on the album. They must be on ep's as I thought this was her debut lp. I was all set to buy it on 180gs when I heard it was comming out in surround sacd. When I got the sacd I was stunned. I thought they were different mixes fom the mp3's. The sound of the sacd is staggering. The surround mix is not startling, but appropriate for the material. I really love this disc. The other material I mentioned is much more blues oriented, so those of you who found her sound too flat or one dimensional should look into those. On the other hand, I can't see how anyone could listen to the sacd versions of these songs and find them lacking. But I am finding my taste running toward this and the likes of Natalie Cole's Ask the Woman sacd. I must be getting old. I wouldn't part with this disc, and I have a hard time with someone who would part with nearly any quality recording after only one listen. More thoughtful material takes some time to get.
Marc

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Review by Croc October 2, 2003 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
i like this album.

songs are nice and relaxing. even my wife likes it.

i know that it sounds boring and stupid to a lot of people, still a lot of people do like it.

recording is very very good and SACD sounds better than RBCD.

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Review by Mhantra February 16, 2004 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I understand and accept that some people don't like this music and think Norah Jones is overrated. But I can't accept that one can write a scathing review after just one listen. If I judged music after hearing it just once, I would have missed out on some of the best music in the world. Norah is not a Diva of vocal expression (I hand that title to Sarah Vaughn), but the subtle nuances in her singing are quite striking for a 22ish year old. I hope she develops in her own accord, and not by those specified by her record label. She will be quite amazing. The 5.1 mix is fabilous, not intrusive like others I have heard, and adds just enough ambiance to fill your listening space fully. You can hear her sultry voice and soft breathing...

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Review by monotone March 3, 2004 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
It's almost two years now that this album has been released. It actually took me awhile to enjoy it, before getting hooked on it. I actually found it too 'folksy' for my liking, but Norah's voice changed that perception. She has that certain rawness in her voice that gives a 'stripped' down feel to every song, which probably explains for the simple basic arrangements she has and needs.

Thanks to the Grammys... the album sees the light in SACD format.

By now, everyone would at one point heard 'Don't Know Why', but the rest of the album flows on seamlessly... finishing with the cover... 'The Nearness Of You'... not as good as Elle, it's different and hey... it's a debut. Many might find it boring or monotonous on the first few listens... but it grews on you. 'Shoot the Moon', 'Turn Me On', 'The Painter' & "One Flight Down' are good showcase of her vocals.

Sound wise... this is another album that is over-produced for multichannel with instruments too far behind and mixed up of instrument placements (start of 'Shoot The Moon'). However, the vocals sounded fuller and 'smoother' in multichannel than in SACD stereo. The overall sounded better in SACD stereo. Huge improvement from CD.

However, sonic wise, the vocals actually sounded so much more natural on the 200g vinyl release. A let down in terms of SACD format. Hopefully 'Feels Like Home' will be better mastered.

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Review by Noonions March 31, 2004
Performance:   Sonics:
It may be too mellow for some tastes,but Norah Jones Come Away With Me is still an excellent debut album with a comforting,pleasing mixture of jazz,country,and folk pop with Norah soft,husky voice on top.The 5.1 surround sound is a mixed bag though;the bass is missing on some tracks(namely "Cold Cold Heart" and "Don't Know Why")while the other songs are very good(most of the rest),providing lots of detail that wasn't on the regular CD.A sonically flawed but still worthy addition,especially for fans of Norah Jones.

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Review by Metoo May 2, 2004
Performance:   Sonics:
While the songs on this album are quite nice and laid back I find its 5.1 mix to be uninteresting and flat, lacking the depth heard on other recordings with this type of ensembles. The voice, while warm, has very strong sibilance that subtracts the smoothness one expects of a recording of this type. I tried lowering the treble on my system only to find I was loosing out on some detail so I turned it up again to have to bear the sibilance. There are clearly good SACD mixes and releases, this one, while not the worst, is certainly not the best and, by far, not a reference recording.

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Review by lenw May 31, 2004
Performance:   Sonics:
There's an abundance of excellent original material on this album and it's very well executed. Norah Jones provides beautiful vocals and piano accompanyment. The sonics, although considerably superior to most pop albums, just doesn't provide the palpable localization of individual instruments in terms of left/right or front/back soundstage. I'm not sure whether that's due to overly close miking during the recording or the mix afterward. But the bottom line is it just doesn't sound to my ear as good as so many other well recorded stereo SACD's.

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Review by Toni October 9, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Great debut album from Norah Jones. There's no weak spots on the album, almost all tracks are equally excellent. The CD was already sonicwise a top notch, SACD is better, but not by a huge margin. MC mix is an improvement to stereo, although not very imaginitive.

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Review by Prodigy November 24, 2004 (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I like this SACD very much, and I picked the CD up thanks to my brother prior to it all blowing up. I also saw her in Stockholm in a small Jazz club called Fashing-marvellous!

Now, the SACD is actually derived from the 44.1kHz tape, which is probably why it does not sound a lot better than the CD. It still sounds better, but not as good as it should. There has been a great fuzz about this in american audiophile magazine "Stereophile" (previous issue) and therefore I hope that there will be a new SACD release out soon........

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Review by Chaz417 December 30, 2004 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I bought this SACD for my wife when it was first released. I had the CD version and thought it sounded very good. I started by playing the MC layer and enjoyed it but, I thought the imaging was not up to par. When I played the 2 ch SACD layer I was very impressed. The soundstaging was far superior to the MC layer, IMO. Instruments had more separation and Norah's vocals were much bolder. This isn't a huge leap in sq from the redbook cd but it does sound better. Treble extention is where I notice the biggest difference.

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Review by PaulHoncoop January 23, 2005 (5 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Can't believe they made a multichannel sacd of this album. Most of the songs are made with less instruments or only Norah and her piano, so i don't understand the value of this 5.1 mix.
There is a lot of emptiness when you listen at the multi version. Sometimes in spaces you hear some noise. Very irritating. What's the use of hearing Norah only from the center, and in the front and back her piano? If you listen to the stereo version you missing nothing at all.

It's a good record and no bad words about Norah. But this mc sacd is overflowing.
Buy the cheaper normal stereo cd (sounds as good as the sacd stereo version).
It's not worth to buy this sacd in order to his multichannel mix (sonics 2,5 stars).

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Review by PureAudio August 24, 2005 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
For me Norah Jones has real quality. A while ago I heard her live performance on the radio and it was flawless. I'm really impressed. This SACD is packed with good bluesy tunes and her sweet voice makes it a winner. Some people, however, may find the songs sound somewhat alike.

The SACD-MC mix is done reasonable well. It gives a nice room ambiance that fits the music. The problem is that this SACD was not initially indended to appear. So they did not use the recording resolution where SACD would benefit most from. I use the disc just for the music, not for the quality.

PRO: Good performance
CON: CD quality

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Review by sacd1 January 7, 2006 (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
nice voice good only in two channel listening.

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Review by Barb October 18, 2007 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
N. Jones vcl & p, L. Alexander b, J. Harris g & eg, D. Rieser dr, K. Breit g, B. Blade dr & perc, A. Levy eg, S. Yahel B3, A. Rogers g, T. Scherr g, R. Burger pump organ & accordion, J. Scheinman vl, B. Frisell eg, K. Wollesen dr, Blue Note 2002.
These 14 jazzy folk-pop songs are well known to a big audience since the title track and some others have been played up and down the radio stations. This disc was a big hit 2002/03 and that was a surprise, because the songs are far away from being stupid, what seems to be a must for radio hits. The basic mode of the music is melancholic, most songs are slow ballads. When I bought the CD then, I was disappointed because of the thin sound and voice. The SACD sounds much better, it has everything needed, colour, richness, air, dynamics and Miss Jones has got a body here. She has a tender, hoarse voice here, too, but it has got timbre and body.

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Review by Shakespear777 August 11, 2009 (0 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Its a great album but what poor job making an SACD of it. I'm so sorry that I can't recommend this as I'm a big fan. I couldn't wait to get home and listen and it was a real disappointment. I prefer the RB far and away. Not recommended unless rereleased and remixed in a way that the material deserves.

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Review by sacdpatat January 7, 2011 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a good album. I've had the CD for years and was a bit disappointed about the SACD. The original CD sounded very nice at times but there was some sibilance and also some distortion at peaks. The SACD version does sound nice also but does not adress these problems, maybe these are appearent in the original master.

In my player I can play both the CD-layer as the SACD-layer of the Hybrid disc and there is not much added with the SACD-layer. I'm not sure which version had better stereo-imaging. Also comparison with the original CD did not show a lot of improvement. I did not listen to the MC layer.

There is some talk about mastering this SACD from the CD-master. Well, if that was the case it would certainly explain the lack of improvement.

If you don't have this album already on CD I would definitely buy the SACD. If you own the CD, well, listen to it before you buy!

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Review by cyp21 January 27, 2012 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I noticed a difference immediately compared to the standard CD pressing when i played it back in 2ch sound and listening through headphones so i would say its well worth getting as it makes more enjoyable to hear sounds i just could'nt hear compared to the standard CD pressing. Once i play it i find it hard to stop and normally just play all the way through. It was this SACD that got has got me hooked on collecting SACD format now. So overall its a good SACD and it's not expensive.

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Review by rorschach2009 June 14, 2012 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Norah Jones is an extremely overrated singer. And nowhere is it more apparent than on this SACD. If sonic quality of an SACD can't make her singing enjoyable, nothing else will. The sonics are partly to blame for a disappointing listening experience. Mixing has not been done properly. More detail should've been given to the instruments that support Ms Jones' vocals -- bass and strings have taken the most beating in this regard. STAY AWAY from this one!!!

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Review by benvandyk January 25, 2013 (0 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
well I have this and read all the reviews first before playback. I was trying to fix the spacial ques for playback. I dont use the standard 5.1 playback. because theres more to hear on this disc with more speakers in different positions in front of me. I had adjust the volume in some speakers. to hear whats on the disc. It was not easy to get it to sound the way I wanted it. some songs have a different sound with different instrements to the speakers..I like the sound a lot. I can find nothing wrong with the disc. my set up was made for problem sounding discs.

this is a new set up for sacds my other player is set up different too. this is played in mch pll2x 10 channels with 2 stereo amps playing. about 13 speaker playback. the core lisening spot gets stereo while the outer
front walls get the surround effects.

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