Norah has taken a new direction on the The Fall, experimenting with different sounds and a new set of collaborators, including Jacquire King, a noted producer and engineer who has worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits and M... more »odest Mouse. Jones enlisted several songwriting collaborators, including Ryan Adams and Okkervil River's Will Sheff, as well as her frequent partners Jesse Harris & Richard Julian. Musicians include drummers Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and James Gadson (Bill Withers), keyboardist James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Al Green), and guitarists Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer). The first single/video is for the album's lead track 'Chasing Pirates'.« less
Norah has taken a new direction on the The Fall, experimenting with different sounds and a new set of collaborators, including Jacquire King, a noted producer and engineer who has worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits and Modest Mouse. Jones enlisted several songwriting collaborators, including Ryan Adams and Okkervil River's Will Sheff, as well as her frequent partners Jesse Harris & Richard Julian. Musicians include drummers Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and James Gadson (Bill Withers), keyboardist James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Al Green), and guitarists Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer). The first single/video is for the album's lead track 'Chasing Pirates'.
"Overall Grade: A Hilights: Chasing Pirates, Young Blood, It's Gonna Be, Man of the Hour
Since her major pop debut in 2002, Norah Jones has been fluffing our pillows and stoking the fires with her cozy hearthside tales and heartwarmingly hopeless romanticisms. At a glance one might think that the art for her latest release, "The Fall", which features our lady in a top hat and a snowy white gown sitting next to a large cuddly canine, would suggest yet another album of dessert wine pop-jazz. This is not the case. Instead, Norah sidesteps the "sweet" almost completely and heads into a more rock-based sound, for which her voice is perfectly suited. The direction is fresh and the pace is easy to settle into (with a pace set by "Chasing Pirates"). Though the album lacks a real kick-in-the-pants sort of song, it certainly delivers some of her best work to date. Expect less piano, more guitar, and the sweetest ending Norah could offer. Wonderful!"
Good work from Ms Jones
William Merrill | San Antonio, TX United States | 11/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This new Norah CD is being received as some kind of "beefed up" version of her music, or a "return to rock." I understand where that perspective is coming from. The songs are more rock/ roots oriented, but for me, this is not any kind of major departure from her previous stuff. First, she's still a singer-songwriter, and the observational and confessional style of song she writes (or co-writes) is still very similar to before. Second, while the tunes often have a more upfront electric guitar (one difference), otherwise they are still largely on the mellow side. A new song such as "I Wouldn't Need You," still has Norah softly crooning the lyrics over a slow tempo, with a relatively gentle backing band. Not that this is a bad thing! I would use the word "charming" to describe the singer and her music, and that's undiminished on The Fall. Compared to someone else in the roots-rock field like Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones is not someone who's going to bowl you over with her passion. It's more of a seduction than an "in your face" approach. All of that said, I've really enjoyed listening to these new songs, and I think I'll be enjoying them much more in the days to come."
D. Ohnemus | Soldotna, Alaska USA | 11/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have loved Norah since her first album. I like to get on Youtube and listen to those unreleased songs like "Love Me Tender" "I'll be your baby tonight" and others. Her first album was amazing, the second one had some high points and her third did too just fewer high points. But we still had Norah's voice which I think is her big draw. Listening to her is like laying in a warm bath with a glass of wine. Or next to a glowing fireplace. I just find comfort in that voice. With this album I can listen to some but not all of the songs. Her voice seems to be behind the music rather than in front or even equal to it. You hear the bass and drums and have to strain to hear her voice. So as much as I hate to do this I can only call this album average. If I heard it and didn't know it was Norah Jones I would never buy it."
4-1/2 stars -- Higher and higher
Anthony Rupert | Milwaukee, WI | 11/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Norah Jones is one of those artists that hardly ever disappoints. I own her first three albums and enjoy them, so when I heard she had a new album coming out, there was no question I'd go and get it. Add The Fall to her string of great releases.
Unlike other reviewers, I really don't hear that much of a difference in the sound on here when compared to Norah's previous works. Sure, the bass parts are a little more evident, but they aren't overpowering. And there are plenty of introspective tracks, like "Light as a Feather", "December" and especially the two-in-a-row of "You've Ruined Me" and "Back to Manhattan". And I challenge any man to step to her after hearing "Tell Your Mama".
The only reason I knocked off half a star is because the canine ode "Man of the Hour" didn't do anything for me. But the rest of the album is great. I hope The Fall is supposed to refer to the time of the year (rather than an actual descent, as naysayers might want you to believe), but whatever the case, it's damn good. Pick it up.
A clunker by Norah Jones standards
Lorenzo | Arkansas | 12/05/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"With the release of "The Fall" Norah Jones and (mixer/producer) Jacquard King have given us a cheap, synthetic version of the real Nora. Instead of the slow, bluesy songs that emphasize Norah's beautiful vocals they have given us upbeat, rock-style songs that don't suit Norah's style nearly as well; instead of the usually subtle musical accompaniment that allows Norah's vocals to carry the songs we are given overly loud music that intrudes on her vocals; instead of her naturally beautiful voice we are given some kind of studio reverberation effect that disguises the sultry tone of her voice. Instead of featuring Norah's piano, which has always been such a perfect accompaniment to her vocals, we have been given intrusive drums, electric guitars and synthesizers.
To the extent that these changes are a result of King's influence this has turned out to be a disasterous pairing for Norah. To me, it just doesn't make sense for her to move away from the beautiful style of music that has made her such a unique and successful artist to join the "dime-a-dozen" rock/pop crowd -- unless she's targeting a younger audience in which case she is doing so at the expense of alienating her existing fan base, which has been responsible for buying 20-30 million of her three previous albums (not songs -- albums).
Having waited over two years for another Norah Jones album I feel cheated that with this one I didn't get the NJ I know. There is not one song on it that I feel is worth adding to the NJ playlist on my MP3 player. I still love Norah's work, but definitely won't be waiting for the next one with the same level of anticipation. My (somewhat selfish) HOPE is that whatever she was going for on this album won't work out and with the next one she will return to the style of music that made her so unique and successful in the first place. For Norah, less is more. All she needs to bring to the table is her voice, her piano and a few good songs (more Jesse Harris please) and everything else will fall in place. My FEAR is that that NJ may have departed and that makes me sad -- almost as if I've lost a good friend."