Come away with me – the album by Norah Jones that got 8 Grammies.
I picked up the cassette hesitantly from the shelf of the music store. The hesitation stemmed from the fact that I had not listened to any of the songs before and that it was not popular at all among my friends.
My motivation to pick it up was partly the multiple Grammies and the fact that Norah was the daughter of the Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, long estranged.
I asked my Walkman to sing the songs of the album with its best abilities. It did. Or did it? I was confused at best. I asked myself – What is this Grammy business all about? It seemed that the voice was crooning to herself, giving no thought about the listener. The lyrics sounded like old English poetry. The piano and guitar played like they were asked to whisper. The drums were just loud enough for me to hear.
Yet I did not feel badly bored. There was a feel of dull freshness. I kept listening to the album occasionally, each time wondering if I was missing something.
After a few weeks, the songs started growing on me, very very slowly. That is when I started noticing the subtle sounds that I had completely missed before. I realized that the album was not composed with an intention to make it a big hit. That explained its lack of the so-called catchy tunes. It did not promise instant gratification. It had the least commercial flavor I had seen in today’s music scene.
My insensitive ears were too dull to pick up the subtle melodies. They had grown numb after routinely listening to pop and hard rock.
I started listening to the newfound joy more often. When combined with the sights of greenery seen through the window of an un-crowded train, the effect it created on my mind was the most relaxing I had experienced in recent times. Listening to it lying in Savasana was another thing that I loved.
I am excited about unlearning to enjoy noise. I have discovered earthy sounds that are superior to it.
Come away with me. I went away with her.
I have bought Norah’s next album – Feels like home. Yes, it does.