Little Broken Hearts
Since selling a gazillion copies of 2002’s dinner jazz opus Come Away with Me, Norah Jones’s output has become steadily more interesting, and fifth album Little Broken Hearts continues the trend. A polished dream-pop record co-written with producer Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton, it won’t offend lovers of Beach House and Mazzy Star. But while there are plenty of appealing moments – the toe tappin’ synth refrain to ‘Say Goodbye’, the gorgeously crooned ‘To the Sea’ and the chorus of ‘Take It Back’ – it never quite shifts into top gear.
If you’re expecting Burton’s presence to give the lethargic Ms Jones a shot in the arm, that’s probably testament to the fact that no-one remembers the humdrum stuff he’s produced (see The Shortwave Set’s Replica Sun Machine). This is not to diss Burton, but he needs a big personality (Cee-Lo, MF Doom) to spark off and unfortunately Norah Jones is not that character. She’s restrained; he’s tasteful: together they come to a pleasant but unmemorable deadlock.