Music Monday with PLC is a weekly feature written by my husband, Pat.
Find out the back story + check out the full archives HERE .
Our two girls have an ongoing rivalry about who is better: Adele vs. Norah Jones. Each girl has her favorite, and I have to admit that it is a pretty good grudge match. Battle of the multi-platinum stars. I am also so glad that they are not arguing over Lady Ga Ga vs. Nicki Minaj. Life’s little victories. Besides, when the Adele vs. Jones battle gets going, someone always brings up Queen of all Monsters, Taylor “Godzilla” Swift to crush all other competition in the girls’ eyes.
Norah Jones has just released her new album “Little Broken Hearts” (2012, Blue Note Records). Apparently, Ms. Jones has just gone through a break up, and it does not seem like it was an easy one. But her loss is our gain. This album is some pretty heavy stuff and it is not the Norah Jones of old.
I can just see the terror in poor Elmo’s face if she brought one of these songs back over to Sesame Street for a duet. Guys, let this be a lesson; do not have a bad break-up with a woman who has a pen and a microphone: Norah, Adele, Alanis Morissette. I like to think that it was one guy who happened to date all these women at different times and then broke up with them to be the muse to bring great music into the world. Like a musical Wilmer Valderrama; but in my head, I will always suspect it was Dave Coulier who broke up with all of them. Think she is kidding around? Just take a look at the video for the first single Happy Pills. (And this is the “happy” song, mind you.) -
The album is very dark, but it is expertly produced by Danger Mouse, who co wrote all the songs with Jones. The two of them work very well together, stitching together the songs with rhythms and sounds that add heavy atmosphere and keep the whole album beautifully, slightly off-kilter. All the while setting the stage for Norah’s emotionally raw lyrics and delivery. And the really cool thing is that her voice is so sweet and understated that it belies the darkness of the lyrics. Check out the song Miriam. Wow. I have not heard a pop song about that since Kenny Roger’s Ruby. Well played, Norah.
Here she is performing the haunting title track Little Broken Hearts on “Later with Jools Holland” -
This is one great album that is equal parts gutsy and artsy from a performer who is popular enough to not have to be either. Me and Ms. Jones, we got a thing going on.
* * *