Not Too Late
Norah Jones' new album fits more in between her previous two solo albums. While more low key than 2004's Feels Like Home, the new one is much less jazz-pop that her smash debut, Come Away With Me, from 2002.
Not Too Late feels like she's trying to make fresh sounds and expand herself in different ways. On the very first track, "Wish I Could," Jones doesn't play a note (acoustic guitars by her frequent colleague Jesse Harris plus cello provide all the music). Jones then dashes over into Kurt Weill territory on the cabaret-style lament "Sinkin' Soon, which features the guest vocal of singer/songwriter M. Ward. There's not a whole lot of guest stars on the album, but Jones also hosts former Pretenders guitarist Robbie McIntosh on one track.
The songwriting is definitely dark on the album, illustrates by titles like "Broken," "Sinkin' Soon," "The Sun Doesn't Like You," and "Until the End," it doesn't sound like a cheerful CD. The song "My Dear Country" even gets a little political, pointing out the irony of having election day so close after Halloween and admitting a loss in understanding why things are the way they are.
On her debut, Jones only wrote or co-wrote 3 songs, but she had a hand in writing every song on Not Too Late. So it's a little more personal, even if it sacrifices the flair of some of previous songwriters. But she knows how to set a mood and still has an amazing voice.