Single Review: Norah Jones “Turn Me On”

Turn Me On
Album: Come Away With Me/Love Actually soundtrack
Year: 2003

The lustful and intimate “Turn Me On” is about Norah Jones anticipating her lover’s return home. The single is personal, as though the listener is hearing Jones’ private thoughts as she goes about her day.

The use of the similes is almost brilliant. She compares her wanting to a flower that hasn’t yet bloomed (“like a flower/waiting to bloom”) and her loneliness to being a lightbulb (“Like a lightbulb/in a dark room/I’m just sitting here waiting for you/to come on home and turn me on”). Real, deep love is being expressed in the single. It’s a love that is enjoyed and celebrated.

In the second verse, the giddiness she is feeling, knowing he will be home soon is “like a school kid waiting for the spring.” However, her cliched use of “like the desert waiting for the rain” is unoriginal. It seems like songwriter John D. Loudermilk wanted to avoid using the word missing and changed it for “waiting” instead. Without him, she is depressed (“my poor heart/It’s been so dark”) and can only be aroused by him. Once they have made love, she is fulfilled (“after all you’re the one who turns me off/you’re the only one who can turn me back on”)

She sings in the last verse about her waiting for him with more similes (“my hi-fi is waiting for a new tune/my glass is waiting for some fresh cubes”) Descriptive and detailed, the similes get the point across without being overwritten or cryptic.

Jones is patient and sultry yet underneath she is coy. In her delivery, she is not emphasizing the fact that she is missing him (which would be the usual choice), but revels in the whimsical feeling she has.

“Turn Me On” is a wonderful example how a healthy, loving relationship can be possible in a song.

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