By Princess K. Russell |Staff Writer|
Norah Jones takes a walk on the wild side with her beautiful new album.
“Little Broken Hearts” is a smooth and easy listen. Jones doesn’t draw listeners in with riffs and vibratos but with a unique vocal rawness and elegance that is all her own.
The entire project was produced by Brian Barton, also known as Danger Mouse. The pair collaborated last year in May on his album “Rome” and the musical chemistry is definitely apparent within this production.
“Little Broken Hearts” takes the listener’s ears through a cosmic journey of hybrid musical styles and rhythms that range from contemporary blues to jazz and rock. This is especially heard on the tracks “Travelin On,” “Say Goodbye” and “4 Broken Hearts.”
No two songs are exactly alike, yet the fluidity of each track is impeccable. Jones and Barton experiment with a new, different, yet familiar and recognizable sound the fans of both artists will love. In comparison to Norah’s debut album “Come Away with Me,” “Hearts” has less jazzy pop singles and more of a gritty country-blues sound.
Danger Mouse’s production in combination with Norah’s voice allows listeners to immerse themselves into the songs and many of the beats can take listeners into a relaxed trance.
The third and title track, “Little Broken Hearts,” begins with a drum and a tempo that moderately builds up. The song is all about redemption and taking charge of situations, especially when dealing with love.
Though “Little Broken Hearts” is an easy listen, it deals with heavy topics such as betrayal, infidelity and retribution. It’s a revelation for those feeling lost or in need of a resolution. The message the album conveys is to take back control and not become victim to the feelings of sadness and betrayal.
“Little Broken Hearts” shows Norah’s growth as an artist. Every song uses imagery and wordplay to convey the emotions behind the lyrics, which are well thought out and should have an impact on listeners.
The welcoming rhythm of “Good Morning” begins a musical journey and progressively escalates towards the sixth track and climax of the production, “After the Fall.” The lyrics “After the fall, do you still want it all…” builds the climactic energy of the song.
The album cover is a modern interpretation of the 1933 movie poster for the film MudHoney, directed by Russ Meyer.
As an artist back in 2002, Norah conveyed a subtle sultriness. But with one glance at the picture of Norah on the cover of “Hearts,” it’s clear that Norah Jones has emerged as a retro bombshell.
She’s still elegant, but has a brilliantly wild edge that makes “Little Broken Hearts” a success.