32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Norah , The Dark Side,
This review is from: Little Broken Hearts (Audio CD)
Can it really be 10 years since Norah burst on to the music scene with the wonderful "Come Away With Me"? At just 22 years old that blend of pop and jazz made her an instant star. Now, with her fifth studio album and with Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, as her producer she has moved into different territory, difficult to categorise but bordering on indie or alternative.
All of the songs were co-written with Burton and chart the end of a sweet romance. Now, at the age of 33 she asks her former lover
"She's 22 and she's loving you
And you'll never know how it makes me blue
Does it make you happy?"
With her smoky voice and a simple piano arrangement picking out the subtle melody this is the sound of heartbreak captured to perfection and closer to her jazz pop style than the other songs on the album.
But heartbreak takes on a darker hue with the brooding "Miriam" who stole her lover. She will murder Miriam and she tells her
"Miriam, you done me wrong,
I'm gonna smile when
You say goodbye".
There is an intensity to her voice and with the insistent keyboard this is dramatic contemporary pop with edge.
This is much darker stuff than anything that Norah Jones has attempted before. "All A Dream" has the lyrics of a nightmare, the voice of an angel and an arrangement of strings, piano and guitar that makes it a most powerful evocation of heartbreak.
That said, the album is uneven. "Happy Pills" is a jagged little pop song, the beautifully crafted revenge lyrics of "Little Broken Hearts" are not served well by the arrangement and "Say Goodbye" is overloaded with irritating synthesiser and drums.
But "4 Broken Hearts" is exquisite and "After The Fall" is a perfectly nuanced song about being on your own when love has gone. The voice of Norah Jones is as full of effortless class as ever with some fine songs and lyrics that capture perfectly the heartache of a broken love affair. The downside is that Danger Mouse has given her arrangements that are unsympathetic to some of the songs and to her voice.
But, on balance, this is an album that is refreshingly different to much of 21st century popular music and one that will appeal to fans of Norah Jones and probably gather some new ones too.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Apr 2012 18:01:40 BDT
Good review but Danger Mouse is Brian Burton not Barry!
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012 19:27:15 BDT
Angel Delta says:
Thanks for the correction, Boswell.
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