Little Broken Hearts Norah Jones is the fifth album by female singer-songwriter Norah Jones, released in 2009 by Blue Note records, Then Analogue productions re-released it in 2012 on SACD format.
It is possible that for many people, especially those who are familiar with Norah Jones from the previous four albums, this is not necessarily a “better” album, even a great disappointment. But true to the words of Brian Burton (the producer of the album, commonly known as Danger Mouse), “it is clearly very different from what Norah has ever done.” For example, she has never played bass in previous albums. Or most noticeable is that Norah has removed the familiar image of “playing piano jazz” to experiment with new genres, new sounds.
Try listening to music. It begins with a light and somewhat exhausting morning greeting. Actually two mornings. The first morning, she told him that she wanted to leave again. And maybe this was the last time, because it had to be “an action, or some very strong feeling” to keep her. After all the hard work, she had to fold her arms, every decision was up to him. Monday morning, it was he who left again. Left alone, she could not sleep. She received the answer. So she had to say hello to herself and continue living without him. Morning greetings start a new day is the end of a love affair. Norah’s voice was as fragile as the breath on the crisp synth background and the slow guitar, scattered with the organ and the violin gradually appearing at the end, all creating a very sad atmosphere.
However, it was not until the second track that Norah actually “said goodbye”. The gloomy atmosphere of the opening track has dissipated, instead the keyboard sounds loud, bass and drumming. If Good morning is confused, weak in love, Say goodbye is a complete makeover. Now she has regained the initiative, singing every song indifferently: “I don’t need you anymore”.
Norah Jones Vol 5 does not stop at separation. Think of the songs as “little stories in a big picture” according to Norah. The whole album focused on exploring the dark corners of love, breaking up, cheating, adultery, and revenge. For example, 4 Broken Hearts tells about a sneaky love affair between two people who have their own other half. Extremely annoying lyrics: “So you tried to replace me. But you didn’t get far And I tried to return you But I only got scarred”. I tried to erase you But didn’t get get far enough away from you Because you still can break my heart. No matter how hard I tried to find no way out, what was left behind was the broken hearts of four people.
Regarding revenge, it must be said that no part of Norah’s writing would ever become this dark. She also did not hesitate to mention the third person in her love story: “She’s twenty two And she’s loving you And you’ll never know how it makes me blue Does it make you happy ”(She’s 22). She is even willing to use the name of an outsider to set a song for (Miriam). Two songs for the lover and the lover’s lover. But while She’s 22 is still a bit tender to bewitched with questions full of concern (“Does she make you happy?”), Miriam scares people for an unusually fierce Norah Jones image. The Norah Jones voice is too sweet, but the lyrics are not sweet: “Oh Miriam That’s such a pretty name And I’ll keep saying it Until you die … You know you done me wrong I’m gonna smile when I take your life ”.
The combination of Danger Mouse, who specializes in hip-hop and rock, and Norah Jones, who specializes in jazz, in her own album, was a surprise to be expected. Listening to any track of Little Broken Hearts, the listener could see Danger Mouse’s silhouette in it. But he didn’t stamp himself on the song too much, but just used his own sounds so that Norah’s thin and light vocals could be maximized.
Little Broken Hearts gradually revealed to us two people, two personalities of Norah Jones, sometimes fragile, when fierce. Just like that, Little Broken Hearts took Norah Jones out of the jazz shadow and gradually entered the world of indie pop. Just like that, Little Broken Hearts closed with All a dream.
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