Archive for the ‘Happy Pills’ tag
It’s always a little bit heartbreaking when artists who are beloved for a specific sound or style start to diverge wildly from that path. It very rarely works, and more often than not, produces disastrous results. Remember when Liz Phair was a 90s alt-rock goddess but decided to morph into a sugary-sweet pop singer at the turn of the millennium, shattering the hopes and dreams of the women who had once worshipped her? Jewel pulled the same move, too. There’s a word for it, and we all know what it is, even if it sort of makes us cringe: it’s called becoming a “sell-out.” But what’s the opposite of selling out? Because on her new album, Little Broken Hearts, Norah Jones has gone from mainstream piano princess to sultry songstress of cool. The more atmospheric, far chillier LP is definitely an upgrade. Let’s call it “selling up.”
A lot of people act like retro crooner Adele is the second-coming, but they’re probably forgetting that Norah Jones did all of the same things, and she was first. When she burst onto the pop music scene in 2002 with her debut, Come Away With Me, Norah won a shit-load of Grammys and became an instant mainstream smash. And even if easy-listening, bluesy piano james weren’t quite your thing, it was hard to deny the raw appeal of Norah’s smooth, lush voice, her fresh, natural looks, and her clear talent. On the cover of Little Broken Hearts, however, that girl is nowhere to be found. In her place is a choppy-haired vixen with a piercing gaze whose bold, red lips are practically screaming out at us that she’s a whole new woman. And she is. On the album, on which she wisely enlisted the help of Danger Mouse, guitars are favored over the piano, Jones’s signature instrument. It’s different, but even though she’s wielding a brand new bag of tricks, she hasn’t lost what made her so good in the first place.