Norah Jones “The Fall” review

Norah Jones

Artist: Norah Jones
Title: The Fall
Label: Blue Note
Rating: 6.5/10

Corporate Line: Norah has taken a new direction on the The Fall, experimenting with different sounds and a new set of collaborators, including Jacquire King, a noted producer and engineer who has worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits and Modest Mouse. Jones enlisted several songwriting collaborators, including Ryan Adams and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, as well as her frequent partners Jesse Harris & Richard Julian. Musicians include drummers Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and James Gadson (Bill Withers), keyboardist James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Al Green), and guitarists Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer). The first single/video is for the album’s lead track ‘Chasing Pirates’.

1. Chasing Pirates – A Lovely song that isn’t far from the Norah Jones that fans have come to know and love. If anything, its quite accessible for those who might hear Jones for the very first time. [9/10]

2. Even Though – Where as “Chasing Pirates” lived in the Norah Jones of old it was also sexy and available to all–this song is a bit less so. It’s pretty–but can be a tad slow. [8/10]

3. Light As A Feather – Instead of that jazzy little singer, Jones sounds positively tough in an Aimee Mann sort of way. [7/10]

4. Young Blood – It doesn’t seem to bode well that this song could be mistaken for a number of singers. It’s missing something–a key ingrediant. Some cohesive piece that ties it into the rest of the album. [4/10]

5. I Wouldn’t Need You – The husky voice and somber tone are back and its a place Jones should never leave. [6/10]

6. Waiting – Simple, maybe too simple. It’s a barren song with a bit too much twinkling and too little of Jones’ voice. [5/10]

7. It’s Gonna Be -It’s good to hear Jones get out of her comfort zone. Too bad she shot so far out of her zone that she overshot into something that sounds a bit uncomfortable. [5/10]

8. You’ve Ruined Me – Devoid of soul. Boring. [4/10]

9. Back To Manhattan – Jones finally finds her groove once again and sucks you back into her beautifully soulful voice. [7/10]

10. Stuck – This isn’t as far out of her comfort zone as “Young Blood”–and doesn’t sound nearly as confused or painful. However, the guitar solo could have been left somewhere far behind. [6/10]

11. December – Certainly a pretty track–but it’s almost too slow. There is something nearly painful about how far Jones has to drag out each and every syllable. [6/10]

12. Tell Yer Mama – A bit too falsely southern for even Jones, who can seemingly slip-in-and-out of any skin. [6/10]

13. Man of the Hour – Jones may not be able to choose between “a vegan and a pothead” but she did choose a good song. It’s sad that this was saved until last when it could have surely boosted up the middle of the album. It’s proof positive that Jones still has such a strong jazz soul and that perhaps it was her biggest mistake stepping out of that. [8/10]

Frankly: Norah Jones is a great. But that doesn’t mean every song she writes/sings is great. But Jones is always good for a handful of great tracks. “Chasing Pirates” and “Man of the Hour” stand out. The rest is mostly hit or miss. Unlike albums in Jones’ past, “The Fall” isn’t nearly cohesive enough. If only “The Fall” could have found a foothold in “Chasing Pirates.”

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