Little Broken Hearts
The hook for this album, probably, is that Norah Jones has collaborated with Danger Mouse. And yes the hip-hop producer co-wrote the material here but he is merely a facilitator for the journey that Jones has been on ever since signing away her soul at a young age.
She was a country singer made over to be a light-jazz artist. When that got boring (and trust me, it was often very boring) the biggest mistake many made was not realising that Jones too was bored. She has improved with each album and as with 2009’s The Fall, she’s at her best when she’s singing darker material, fallout, love lost, not the catalogue-browsing tedium of her debut.
Here the songs are not the predictable and absurd fare that any sub-Winehouse in the vein of Adele will sing on demand. Set fire to the rain? Please. Norah knows the truth. Once she didn’t know why – and 50 year old men in crisis thought that was a bit cute. Now she sings about how “only the fallen need to rise”.
She’s fallen because 23 million people are scratching their heads wondering where Norah Jones went wrong. Or even just where she went.
Wherever she’s gone I’m glad she went there.