Jones – The Fall
Norah Jones has performed several types of music over the years since her
breakthrough album Come Away With Me. In that album and her two
follow-up CDs (three if you count her gig with the alt.country supergroup
The Little Willies) she has worked in jazz, country, folk, pop and R&B – but
given them all her own personal smoky slant.
The Fall works specifically
because she branches out musically without forgetting her true strengths as
an artist. This
fourth album is supposed to be Jones’ rock and roll album – and it does sort
of rock, in a rather polite way. But no one is ever going to look for Norah
Jones to be another Courtney Love, and
fact, The Fall is definitely the most modern sounding album Jones has
recorded – losing some of the old-fashioned sheen of her earlier albums (as
well as the classic covers). This is partially due to the work of producer
Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, Mute Math) – but mostly it stems
from Jones’ continuing growth as a songwriter. (Unlike previous albums,
Jones wrote or co-wrote every track here.)
of this will fit into AAA radio well – reconfiguring Jones as a smart
singer/songwriter in the Rosanne Cash/Aimee Mann/Fiona Apple vein. The
first single is “Chasing Pirates,” with a boho-Rickie Lee Jones (no
relation) vibe. That is followed up by the lovely strutting “Even Though.”
“It’s Gonna Be” is probably as close as Jones gets to rocking out – and even
that is only a mid-tempo tune, but Jones’ vocals pull it together. The
lament “You’ve Ruined Me” continues to show growth.
The Fall is
not as immediately commercial as her breakthrough, but it may even be a more
cohesive musical statement. (12/09)
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Posted December 16, 2009.