Why is so much praise heaped on the likes of Norah Jones and Nelly Furtado? Particularly in the case of Ms. Jones, she’s received a ridiculous amount of critical and popular approval for middling accomplishments. Yes, she’s got a warm, distinctive tone and tea-in-the-window-seat lyrics, but people talk about her as if she’s the second coming of Ella Fitzgerald! I know I’m sounding like a music snob here, but there are so many other jazz vocalists that have more subtance and a more original style (not to mention a bigger range). My current favourite among these is Cassandra Wilson, an extraordinarily-gifted singer and musician.
Jones enjoys Diana Krall syndrome. This syndrome occurs when people follow the path of least resistance, finding the easiest-to-listen-to musical possible.
As for Ms. Furtado, ‘I’m Like a Bird’ was a great pop song. Since then, I’ve heard nothing that stirs me. And have you ever heard her sing live? Let’s just say she’s still got some developing to do on that front.