Norah Jones
Not Too Late
(EMI)
Though not shy about cutting loose in side projects, Jones’s languorous, vaguely jazzy music is a franchise. It sells millions more than any other artist who employs cello, trombone, B3 organ and pedal steel. Bassist/producer Lee Alexander also co-writes the numbers most likely to stick in the brain. “Sinkin’ Soon” works a breezy New Orleans vibe into gloomy metaphor. Jones addresses the shock of the ’00 and ’04 elections in a melancholy evocative of Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” That Jones is cute as a button does have a role in her success. Still, she radiates a mood the opposite of excitement, more about what is learned in excitement’s wake.
Doug Taylor

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