Wednesday, August 8, 2012

#18: Norah Jones - Not Too Late (2007)

Not Too Late is the third studio album by Norah Jones and the third consecutive #1 album she had. A little fun fact about Norah is that her father is Ravi Shankar, the famous sitar player. He also taught George Harrison how to play the sitar. Small world.

Sinkin' Soon
The best track on the album. It's witty, it's fun, it's a little cooky. It also features the coolest horn solo on any of her records, maybe even the best solo overall. The guitar keep a little picking going while Norah's haunting vocals lay on top of a slow, yet bouncy bass. The piano fills make the song really move for me, they're extremely tasteful and elegant. Overall the song just has oodles of atmosphere. It's unlike any other track on the record.

My Dear Country
Lyrically it fits in any time period. No matter what political party you're aligned with, it can be applied. It's such a beautiful, dark song that starts with a simple piano/vocal and slowly stretches out to an out of control machine. This song (along with Sinkin' Soon) are the reasons I chose to review this album, they are two of her best... and also because nothing scarier than election day.

Not Too Late
Why is it that every time I play a simple piano part it sounds contrite and lacks any kind of emotion, and when Norah Jones does it - it's magical? Maybe it's the fact that she has some of the most amazing pipes I've ever heard. Maybe it's because she can control her words so well that it really doesn't matter what she says. Or maybe it's just because the accompaniment always comes in at the perfect time and never allows your ear to get bored. Either way, 'Not Too Late' is a simple, yet beautiful song that's worthy of being the namesake of such a wonderful album.

All in all, it's a ridiculously solid record. If you're looking for something upbeat and poppy this is not your album, but if you're looking for something that's rich on emotion and thought - this will be right up your alley. Norah does an incredible job of mixing jazz, folk, and a little pop into thirteen tracks of goodness. I listen to this album probably four or five times a month and it never fails to deliver.

Tomorrow's album: Thelonious Monk's Brilliant Corners

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