Norah Jones recorded her fourth studio album, “The Fall,” in 2009. At this point in her career, Jones has already established herself as a successful contemporary jazz artist.
On her previous three albums, Jones has featured both covers of famous jazz standards and her own work, which is often a fusion of jazz, country and blues styles. The same foundations appear on “The Fall.”
The album begins with the widely successful single, “Chasing Pirates,” which some consider to be the pop crossover hit of the album. Chasing Pirates starts things off with a nice rhythm and strong vocals that give the track an easy listening feel.
Jones incorporates some up-tempo rock into the mix with additions of some electronic instruments. This differs from her previous acoustic style but lends itself to fast-paced songs like “Even Though,” “It’s Gonna Be” and “Stuck.”
While more than half of the album features Jones’ soft, blues style which does with several acoustic instruments and Norah’s jazzy vocals, these few songs mix up the texture.
On “Light As A Feather” and “I Wouldn’t Need You,” Jones slows down to feature more instrumental work from her band.
This style goes well into “Waiting,” a mid-album track that is mostly quiet guitar backtracking with Jones’s vocals as the focus. Her soulful voice calms listeners in a lullaby fashion with light strokes of piano an octave above her vocal melody.
Moving along to the second half of the album, “You’ve Ruined Me” starts off a set of songs that tell a story. The slower tempo and rhythms really let the listener engage with Norah’s lyrics.
The highlight of the album is “Back To Manhattan.”
Within this track, Jones writes poetic lyrics about the end of a relationship incorporating beautiful metaphors to the cities of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The backtracking instrumentals augment her light vocals taking listeners along with her while she tells her story.
On “December,” Norah takes a simple lyrical melody with a lot of movement against a simplistic piano and guitar line.
The last two songs on the album take a darker turn. Track twelve, titled “Tell Yer Mama,” has some mocking lyrics about someone who mistreats another, being selfish and hurting the other person.
Norah sings, “Tell your mama I said hello and that she raised you so damn slow,” and, “Tell your father I said so long and thanks for raising you so damn wrong.”
The final song on the record, “Man Of The Hour,” has a darker sense of humor while being presented in a very charming and classy way.
The song describes Norah’s comparison between her latest relationship and her dog. The comical lyrics note the flaws of her boyfriend while pointing out the positive reasons to keep the dog and lose the man.
The album’s cover features Jones with a large dog sitting next to her, which most likely is the pooch alluded to in “Man Of The Hour.” The track ends the album on a happy note with the dog barking in the background as the last thing the listener hears.
Norah Jones does a beautiful job of capturing a wide array of emotion and instances in life throughout this easily relatable album. “The Fall” is four out of Jones’ six total solo studio recorded albums but may arguably be her best work of art.