The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


A review of the album 'The Fall' by Norah Jones

'The Fall' by Norah Jones

Review Snapshot: A lot has changed about Norah. There is a real notion that she has grown up, and she wanted this to be heard in album number four. Produced by Jacquire King, who produced Tom Waits' 'Mule Variations', this album has a sound entirely new and long overdue. It may even reach some new followers who had previously ignored the presence of the docile piano and abundance of love ditties.

The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10

Full Review: Followers of Norah Jones usually say it’s her velvet voice that started their love affair with her. Her voice may well be the only thing people will recognise on Norah’s latest release. Gone are the love tunes tinkled on piano, welcome is a much rockier, guitar-heavy mix of angry, bitter tunes. This, of course could be contributed to her split from long-time partner (and band mate) 18 months ago.

This absence is sincerely felt in the lyrics:

“Now all the stars have gone,
Faded into the cracks of dawn
And I’m still waiting here,
Waiting for you to come home”

‘Norah Jones: Singleton’ is felt right through this album, particularly in songs like 'Back to Manhattan', where she discusses having to choose between two partners living on opposite sides of the river. She has also lost her image of innocence, as she shows us in 'Stuck', a song about a drunken night in New York:

“I just lost the plot, got a little caught
In a little knot
I just hit a wall, had a little fall,
Felt the swinging wrecking ball.”

'Chasing Pirates' is a perfect upbeat opening with a hook that will spin in your head for days. The keyboards and drums are an unusual addition on this album, and particularly on this track, and it works wonderfully. 'You’ve Ruined Me' has the sadder tone of someone who has lost a love. Ruined she may be but this songs provides an excellent guitar and drum combination, and her voice sounds as caramel-smooth as ever.

The closing of the album shows her wicked, charming sense of humour. 'Man of the Hour' talks about the man she does finally choose, when she “couldn’t choose between a vegan and a pothead” she chose her dog, who doesn’t have “any baggage tied to his four feet”:

“Though we’ll never take a shower together,
I know you’ll never make me cry”

Overall this album is definitely worth a listen. It’s great to hear her doing something new and I hope it brings a whole new genre of fans.

Elaine Peppard

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