30 January 2007

NMT: 30 JAN 07 Norah Jones --- Not Too Late

Norah Jones --- Not Too Late

To kick off the triple edition of New Music Tuesday (special PYT editions), thought I'd start with Norah Jones.

I wasn't a huge fan of her last album. Nothing was wrong with it, and it was all quite well done, but it didn't exactly set my world on fire, either.

As far as this album, it's quiet, contemplative, low-key (very, very low-key), and pleasing. She's pleasant of voice, and is surrounded by top notch musicians all in a clean, precise setting (possibly a little too clean and precise for the nature of these songs).

No new ground is broken, no genres are bent, no paradigms are shifted, but it's not a safely commercial unit pusher, either.

It's all good, but it has no real compelling reason for existing, either. On to the tracks

1) Wish I Could
Very folky and pretty. Lyrically kind of weak, sounds like it is meant to mean something, but upon closer listening, there's no there, there. Probably an anti-war song, but hard to tell.

2) Sinkin' Soon
Ooohhh, banjo . . . (strummed langourously)

3) The Sun Doesn't Like You
The arrangement on this sucker's kind of interesting, and yet it kind of sits there at the same time.

4) Until The End
Another lazy song (in a good way). She really has a way of sounding like she's just woken up on every song. Novacaine on her tongue before singing, maybe?

5) Not My Friend
She tests her higher register with this song, it works for this song. Gives the song a delicacy it would have lacked lower. Another song where a lot is going on, yet it all goes on very slowly.

6) Thinking About You
This would be the radio friendly track. It's very friendly, indeed. Sounds like something that Van Morrison might have written in the early 70s, but decided was a bit too slight to record and set it aside. It grows on you, though, a strong song for something seemingly so slight (argggh that sentence got a bit alliterative on me).

7) Broken
Another solid song, but also a bit sleepy.

8) My Dear Country
Her plaintive cry about how horribly traumatic Bush's 2004 victory was (no really, every album has to have one or two of these songs).

9) Wake Me Up
That's a dangerous song title for a Norah Jones album.

10) Be My Somebody
How many different ways can I call these songs, pleasant, slow, well produced, well musicianed, and well sung? (yet still slightly empty) This song is all those things, and a little less empty.

11) Little Room
Sounds like a bit of a goof that found its way on the album, anyway. Probably one of the better tracks on the album because of it. Just her voice, a guitar and a bass (and a little whistling thrown in the middle), and that's all she really needs. It's hard to resist a song with a good whistling bridge.

12) Rosie's Lullaby
Covers the same territory that most of the rest of this album does. But does it slightly better.

13) Not Too Late
I've run out of words, it's just more of the same, not bad, very good in spots, but nothing memorable, either, just like the whole project.

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