Jones’ fifth album finds her taking a fresh and radical approach to, if not so much the sounds and shapes of her music, then certainly the way in which she arrived at them. For the first time, she entered the studio without fully-formed and arranged songs, and armed only with rough sketches and scraps of lyrics. In tandem with producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse she’s fashioned a gloriously atmospheric and engaging record.
The familiar jazz and country tones of Norah’s voice are still evident, but the ambient production and adventurous instrumentation suggest other, perhaps more surprising touchstones. On the dreamy Good Morning, the sinister echoes of She’s 22, or the synth swirl of After The Fall, Jones is closer to the fragile intimacy of, say, Elizabeth Fraser or Beth Gibbons.
It’s a beautifully realised collaboration and a natural progression from the pair’s first work together, when Jones contributed to Rome, Danger Mouse’s 2008 album inspired by Italian film music. Little Broken Hearts is possibly even more cinematic, the words and voice telling evocative stories, while the music and mood paints a gorgeous backdrop on a mesmerising widescreen canvas.