Little Broken Hearts Norah Jones
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- 1Good Morning03:18
- 2Say Goodbye03:27
- 3Little Broken Hearts03:12
- 4She's 2203:11
- 5Take It Back04:06
- 6After The Fall03:42
- 74 Broken Hearts03:00
- 8Travelin' On03:07
- 9Out On The Road03:29
- 10Happy Pills03:35
- 12All A Dream06:29
Info for Little Broken Hearts
Little Broken Hearts is the fascinating next step in the artistic evolution of Norah Jones, who has flitted between easy listening, jazz, lounge, country, punk and beyond in her career to date. Her stunning new album is produced by Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) and features original songs co-written by Jones and Burton that give her an arguably more edgy sound than ever before.
„On 2011’s Rome, singer Norah Jones, producer Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton, guitarist Jack White and film score composer Daniele Luppi paid homage to old Italo-Western movies with twinkling chimes, twangy guitar riffs, and notable vocal performances. While many of the instrumentals held up without words, the concept album saw new life when White and Jones took to the microphone. On the song Black, for example, Jones’ rich textures added a sultry layer to the reflective composition. On Problem Queen, she injected the same dreamy resonance into the melody, except the results were livelier than before, thanks to the track’s rolling keys and buoyant percussion. If anything could be gleaned from the project, it’s that good things happen when Jones sings atop Burton’s arrangements.
On Little Broken Hearts, the two musicians explore the concept of heartbreak, investigating its unpleasant aspects with refreshing candour and sardonic wit. Albums about heartbreak certainly aren’t new, but Jones puts a fresh spin on the familiar topic with lovelorn musings that are wistful and carefree, meditative and ebullient. Good Morning, the album’s effective opener, is a delightfully sweet blend of airy synthesizers and melancholic strings, held together by Jones’ angelic falsetto. “I’m folding my hand,” the singer softly repeats over Burton’s oceanic production. She’s 22 carries a similar ventilated backdrop, but the result is a bit more pensive when paired with Jones’ gloomy deliberation: “You can throw away, every word I say.”
Then there’s the haunting Miriam, a morbidly sublime tune on which the singer threatens the woman with whom her man cheats. Here, Jones sings: “I’m gonna smile when I take your life.” Conversely, Happy Pills and Say Goodbye are cheery pop fare, on which the vocalist sings joyously about the break-up. Amid funky guitar grooves, Jones sounds playfully detached from said relationship. Therein lays the success of Little Broken Hearts. Unlike other disheartened recordings, some of which are more sullen than others, Jones never sounds too depressed on this set. Instead, she keeps the mood fairly moderate amongst Burton’s fluid soundtrack, setting the pace with a wry bravado that makes this album a dynamic listen, even if she’s dumping a guy. Heartbreak is inevitable if you love hard enough, yet Jones and Burton make it enjoyable.“ (Marcus J. Moore, BBC Review)
Norah Jones, vocals, guitars, bass, piano, organ
Brian Burton, guitars, bass, synthesizer, organ, piano, drums, percussion
Blake Mills, guitars
Dan Elkan, guitar
Todd Monfalcone, guitar
Gus Seyffert, bass, electric guitar, backing vocals
Heather McIntosh, bass, cello
Jonathan Hischke, bass
Joey Waronker, drums, percussion
Sonus Quartet, strings
Recorded in 2011 at Mondo Studio, Electro Vox Studios, Los Angeles, California
Engineered by Todd Monfalcone, Kennie Takahashi
Produced by Danger Mouse
Sultry vocalist and pianist Norah Jones developed her unique blend of jazz and traditional vocal pop with hints of bluesy country and contemporary folk due in large part to her unique upbringing. Born March 30, 1979, in New York City, the daughter of Ravi Shankar quietly grew up in Texas with her mother. While she always found the music of Billie Holiday and Bill Evans both intriguing and comforting, she didn't really explore jazz until attending Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. During high school, Jones won the Down Beat Student Music Awards for Best Jazz Vocalist and Best Original Composition in 1996, and earned a second Best Jazz Vocalist award in 1997. Putting her vocal talents on the back burner, Jones worked toward earning a degree in jazz piano at the University of North Texas for two years before accepting a friend's offer of a summer sublet in Greenwich Village during the summer of 1999.
Although she fully intended to return to college that fall, the lure of the folk coffeehouses and jazz clubs proved too strong and she was soon inspired to write her own songs. Jones appeared regularly with the trip-hop-electronica band Wax Poetic and assembled her own group around songwriters Jesse Harris (guitar) and Lee Alexander (bass), with Dan Rieser on drums. In October of 2000, the group recorded a handful of demos for Blue Note Records and on the strength of these recordings, Jones signed to the jazz label in early 2001. Following an appearance on Charlie Hunter's Songs from the Analog Playground, Jones spent much of 2001 performing live with Hunter's group and working on material for her debut.
Come Away with Me, recorded by Craig Street (Cassandra Wilson, Manhattan Transfer, k.d. lang) and legendary producer Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, the Bee Gees), was released in early 2002 and garnered much public attention. The combination of her striking beauty and the fact that she was the daughter of an internationally renowned musician placed Jones in the awkward position of defending her music from those who dismissed her as another pretty face (the same argument used by those opposed to Diana Krall) and/or another riding the coattails of her musical royal heritage (see Natalie Cole, Miki Coltrane, Corey Parker). Although not by any stretch a "jazz" album (the label chose to call it "jazz-informed"), it featured jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and session drummer Brian Blade, and indicated a new direction for Blue Note combining jazz aesthetics and talent with a pop sensibility. Come Away with Me eventually went multi-platinum, selling 18 million copies worldwide and winning Jones eight Grammy Awards.
In 2004, Jones released her highly anticipated follow-up album, Feels Like Home. Pairing once again with producer Arif Mardin, Jones pursued a similar approach to Come Away with Me, mixing '70s singer/songwriter-style tracks with blues, country, and her own mellow take on piano jazz. In 2003, Jones played in a group called the Little Willies along with Lee Alexander (bass), Richard Julian (guitar/vocals), Dan Rieser (drums), and Jim Campilongo (guitar), playing covers of classic American music like Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson. This one-off performance ultimately turned into sporadic shows at the venue whenever their individual schedules would allow, slowly incorporating original songs into their set along the way. In time, the Little Willies began considering the release of a live album, but instead wound up documenting their sound in the recording studio. Milking Bull Records issued the resultant self-titled album in March 2006.
Late in 2006, the single "Thinking About You" announced a return to her solo career. It landed on the album Not Too Late, released in early 2007. The Fall arrived in 2009, followed in 2010 by ...Featuring Norah Jones, a collection of musical collaborations. The following year Jones was asked to provide some vocals for Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) and Italian composer Daniele Luppi's spaghetti Western project, Rome. Burton returned the favor in 2012 by producing and co-writing the songs on Jones' fifth studio album, Little Broken Hearts. She next teamed with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong in a project to re-create the classic 1958 Everly Brothers album Songs Our Daddy Taught Us. Recorded in nine days with bassist Tim Luntzel and drummer Dan Rieser, Foreverly was released in 2013.