Little Broken Hearts
After parting company with her fiction-writer boyfriend, a spurned Norah Jones sat down at her piano and created her fifth album, ... Little Broken Hearts.
Enter Danger Mouse as producer. The two abandon nearly all traces of the jazz pop woman who sang "Don't Know Why" except the most important, her breathy, angelic voice.
The result is Jones' most ambitious effort to date. This is her Sea Change, a sensitive change of style born of heartbreak.
Danger Mouse knows her stylistic limitations. The Little Willies amplified her range, which has been considerable enough to stretch to a guest appearance with OutKast, so this isn't a jarring makeover of the Nelly Furtado variety.
Their music marriage is best seen on "Say Goodbye," which pairs Jones' coquettish voice with Mouse's mild dance production. "She's 22" is the standout track, with Jones repeating variations of the phrase "Does it make you happy?" She keeps her classy edge, but you can feel her hurt and seething.
It's not as masterful as Sea Change, but it is just the jolt Jones' career and personal life needed.
Tomorrow's entry: Jaguares, El Primer Instinto