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Little Danger in soft and sumptuous work

norah jones

Little Broken Hearts

(Blue Note)


Few people thought they would ever read "Norah Jones" and "Brian 'Danger Mouse' Burton" in the same sentence, let alone see them making an album together, but that happened last year with the intriguing Rome project.

Now, the two are reunited again on Jones's fifth album. Danger Mouse produces and has had a hand in the songwriting, while Norah's gorgeously nuanced vocals show just why she's among the best-selling female artists of the past 10 years.

Little Broken Hearts is a break-up album per se, but it also provides Jones and Burton with an opportunity to deliver a sumptuously realised set. There are touches of the soft jazz stylings that made her 20 million-selling debut Come Away With Me such an adored album, but, as with Rome, she has become comfortable with synthesizers and a more pop-oriented sound.

Lead single Happy Pills finds her embracing the single life with vim and vigour, even if a dark undercurrent can be detected, while Good Morning is more subdued, as it contemplates the past and what went wrong.

In places, Little Broken Hearts is a little too pretty for its own good. Jones's vocals aren't bruised enough to fully capture the pain and Burton's production is -- unusually for him -- just a little too safe.

Key tracks Good Morning; Out on the Road

Day & Night