Online since August 2002

Same old groove

Reviewed January 2007

Not Too Late
Not Too Late
By Norah Jones

Blue Note Records: 2007

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

When her first album, "Come Away With Me," came out in 2002, Norah Jones' low-key, breathy sound was utterly unique and charming and quickly earned her a place on the charts. But on her third album, five years later, she's still in that same low-key, breathy groove – which is in danger of becoming a rut.

Every song on "Not Too Late" has the same super-relaxed tempo, the same languid mood. Even her protest song, "My Dear Country," can't work up a sweat. "Not Too Late" has some good songs, but nothing on the level of "Don't Know Why," her breakthrough hit from that first album. Even the single being released from the new album, "Thinking About You," is hobbled by the fact that it sounds like every other Norah Jones song.

Like Sade, the pop chanteuse of the '80s, Jones has coupled a magnficent voice and strong songwriting to an instantly identifiable sound.

But like Sade, if Jones doesn't learn to mix up her tempos, to bring something different to the table, she's going to get tuned out by listeners.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

CD Review Archive | Music Home Page | Turbula Home Page