Chapman rode that career momentum into strong initial sales for her sophomore album, but listeners soon lost interest when they realized Chapman kept making the same album with different titles. Aside from a 1996 fluke hit with the bluesy "Give Me One Reason," she permanently fell off the musical map.
As with Chapman, Jones' lack of charisma has worked to her advantage, being interpreted as proof of authenticity. There's much to admire about Jones. She reached a mega-audience without hype, flash, or contrivance, and her natural humility is refreshing in an era dominated by histrionics and self-aggrandizement.
| CD Spotlight
Feels Like Home
There are some winning moments on Feels Like Home that hint at growth potential for Jones. "Don't Miss You At All," her adaptation of Duke Ellington's "Melancholia," is suitably gorgeous. And even the tentative, Starbucks funk of "In the Morning" emboldens Jones to open up and show some vocal fire. Unfortunately, the song, like much of her ballad-heavy material, is too bland to stick.
For Jones, the enduring lesson of Chapman should be clear. It's nice to know your limitations, but that doesn't make you any less limited. •