Norah Jones

'… Little Broken Hearts'

Texas Platters

Norah Jones

... Little Broken Hearts (Blue Note)

Norah Jones steps into the danger zone on her fifth album, teaming with producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, who instills burbling beats and old-timey atmospherics. The resultant ... Little Broken Hearts is a career-redefining breakup LP that also works as a tell-off for anyone continuing to discount the Dallas-born chanteuse as an overly snoozy songwriter. Moving from the supper club to the dance floor, the team scores with "Say Goodbye" in the two spot, followed by the album's title track. "Beautiful soldiers in their beds," croons Jones. "Will they ever find a way to sleep side by side?" From Western-tinged road songs to the haunting sounds of a wronged woman wreaking vengeance, the rest covers a lot of ground. After the throwback thrill of "Happy Pills," Jones takes a gothic turn with "Miriam," a soaring, surreal account of a romantic rival's murder. Like so much of ... Little Broken Hearts, it kills.

***.5

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