Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Not Too Late - Norah Jones

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I think it's safe to say that there isn't a person alive who won't know what to expect from Norah Jones' latest studio album Not Too Late. Yes, even those of you who are deaf will probably know exactly what you are going to get with Norah Jones.

This isn't, however, necessarily a bad thing in some senses. Jones rarely surprises us but then again she rarely disappoints; she may not do a whole lot different but what she does do is normally more than adequate. This collection is no different, despite what some reviewers would have you believe. In fact the only real difference is that Jones claims co-writing credits on all 13 tracks here and it's this that marks the real change in direction. Lyrically this album is a lot more cynical and uneasy than her previous efforts. It's also more substantial in parts as a result with both Election Day and Wish I Could treading the war/George W Bush ground that so many seem to do these days (although it should be pointed out that Jones seems to go to extraordinary lengths to not offend anyone in either song).

Highlight include Thinkin' About You, a song so delightful that you cannot help but fall under it's spell, the blues-driven Sinkin' Soon and Wake Me Up, although the latter does remind you a lot of Sunrise from her last album (a song which I consider to be her finest).

In the final analysis the choice is yours. If you liked her first two "solo" albums (we're not counting the Little Willies here) then you'll probably enjoy this one greatly too. If, like me, you can to many extents take or leave Norah Jones then you'll have the same opinion of this one. It's soft, warm and rustic music that will quite happily play in the background as you carry on with your life, occasionally beckoning you over to turn up the volume for the odd track before easing back into it's familiar groove and leaving you to carry on doing the housework.

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