not a member? click here to sign up

The Fall

Easy listening princess goes indie-goth

Rating: 8 / 10

Peter Murphy, 01 Dec 2009



The Fall presumably being that which comes after the pride of lovers. Or maybe the season of dead leaves, a bad time to be broken-hearted. Norah Jones’s fourth album is an extended lament for the end of the affair – but then, every note she’s ever crooned has sounded thus.

The difference is this time she’s enlisted the services of producer and engineer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Modest Mouse, Kings Of Leon) and hired players as tasty as Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel and Marc Ribot. Their touches are subtle – insistent bass figures, phased and rusty sounding guitars, growling keyboards – but more than enough to take her out of the roots museum and into a brave new world.

Maybe Jones is so easy to warm to because she never sounds like she’s trying too hard. There’s the paradox: even when she’s coughing her guts up in a lyric, she’ll deliver the lines with a beguiling levity (‘Chasing Pirates’ evokes Ricki Lee Jones in both title and mood). “Something bout the way he touched me,” she muses in ‘Even Though’, and if not for the past tense, you’d think all was bright and breezy in her kitchen. Stick with it and the shadows grow longer. “If I touched myself the way you touched me...” she reveries a few tracks later. We hear ya, sister. Elsewhere, ‘You’ve Ruined Me’ and ‘Tell Yer Mama’ are as wry and philosophical as any coroner’s report can be, ‘Light As A Feather’, a co-write with Ryan Adams, belies the title and emerges as a dark and dangerous blues, ‘Stuck’ is spooked and spectral, and ‘Young Blood’ (“Old ghosts go home”) is a hitched to a melody that’d make your heart stammer.

Not an easy record to write, I’ll wager, but it goes down like honey.

The Fall presumably being that which comes after the pride of lovers. Or maybe the season of dead leaves, a bad time to be broken-hearted. Norah Jones’s fourth album is an extended lament for the end of the affair – but then, every note she’s ever crooned has sounded thus.

The difference is this time she’s enlisted the services of producer and engineer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Modest Mouse, Kings Of Leon) and hired players as tasty as Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel and Marc Ribot. Their touches are subtle – insistent bass figures, phased and rusty sounding guitars, growling keyboards – but more than enough to take her out of the roots museum and into a brave new world.

Maybe Jones is so easy to warm to because she never sounds like she’s trying too hard. There’s the paradox: even when she’s coughing her guts up in a lyric, she’ll deliver the lines with a beguiling levity (‘Chasing Pirates’ evokes Ricki Lee Jones in both title and mood). “Something bout the way he touched me,” she muses in ‘Even Though’, and if not for the past tense, you’d think all was bright and breezy in her kitchen. Stick with it and the shadows grow longer. “If I touched myself the way you touched me...” she reveries a few tracks later. We hear ya, sister. Elsewhere, ‘You’ve Ruined Me’ and ‘Tell Yer Mama’ are as wry and philosophical as any coroner’s report can be, ‘Light As A Feather’, a co-write with Ryan Adams, belies the title and emerges as a dark and dangerous blues, ‘Stuck’ is spooked and spectral, and ‘Young Blood’ (“Old ghosts go home”) is a hitched to a melody that’d make your heart stammer.

Not an easy record to write, I’ll wager, but it goes down like honey.


Rating: 8 / 10
Artist Related Content

Latest Related Articles For This Artist

LISTEN: Norah Jones & Billie Armstrong's album of American classics

In one of the year’s more unlikely hook ups, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones have paid homage to The Everly Brothers’ Songs Our Daddy Taught Us by raiding the great American songbook.


News: 21 Nov 2013

Norah Jones

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin


REVIEW: 21 Sep 2012

Norah Jones comes to Ireland

Belfast and Dublin are in the diary.


News: 04 May 2012

Thinking Of You

The lady with the crème caramel voice is back, and offers a taster from her forthcoming album, Not Too Late. Such is the quality of her delivery she could sing a homage to a crusted-over bowl of porridge that would make you want do devour it – which, more or less, is what’s going on here. ‘Thinking About You’ is abysmally bland. The chorus is non-existent; it finishes before anything happens; it’s totally generic and worst of all, it fades out. That’s the type of background bumpf we’re dealing with. Were it not for her sweet, sweet voice reminding us of summer afternoons in the park, this would go straight in the bin.


REVIEW: 24 Jan 2007

Not Too Late

This is a collection of songs (all self-penned), which showcases her versatility and willingness to move away from the jazz/torch-song style.


REVIEW: 16 Jan 2007

best of ireland

Contact Us

Hot Press,
13 Trinity Street,
Dublin 2.
Rep. Of Ireland
Tel: +353 (1) 241 1500

Email:info@hotpress.ie

Click here for more contact information.

Click here to find out more about Hot Press

Hot Press always welcomes feed back so if you've got something to tell us click here.

Advertise With Us

For more detail on how to advertise with Hot Press click here or call us on +353 (1) 241 1540