The Independent

Norah Jones – Little Broken Heart

Syed Ahad Hussain, Opinions Editor

September 19, 2012

    “Would you please let me go now?” is the plea of Grammy-winning songstress Norah Jones to her ex-lover in her fifth studio album, “Little Broken Hearts.” Breakups are painful when they are least expected. Jones’ fifth album has a somber and personal feeling like a journal she wrote after her eventual breakup. But don’t let this anecdote misguide you. Little Broken Hearts is one exceptional album with some strong and heart-touching lyrics for the masses, including those like myself who are not die hard Norah fans, to feel and appreciate it. The album marks Norah’s first ever collaboration with Producer Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse. The album is Norah’s departure from a jazz and blues sound present in her first two albums ascending more towards ambient and pop sounds. The album’s opening track ‘Good Morning’ is reminiscent of Norah’s Grammy-winning debut record ‘Come Away with Me.’ This song literally moves one to break- fast. The following track ‘Say Good- bye’ is the heart of the album, summoning its themes of breaking up, letting go and realizing that you are better off alone. With cautionary lyrics like “I know that you’re dyin’ to come back, please come on back/ Well it ain’t easy to stay in love, when you tellin’ lies/ So I’ll just have to take a bow, and say goodbye,” the single comes across as a promise to one’s self to move on with life and leave all the miserable memories of love behind. Next is the titular single, ‘Little Broken Hearts’ a dark, haunting track ideal for a long midnight drive. The song’s beats and higher tempos sound like British synth- pop band Goldfrapp’s earlier re- cords. The song has fantastical, surreal and metaphorical narration of a warrior’s struggle to make a dying relationship work with his princess despite constant failure. “Trying to pick up the pace, trying to make it so I never see your face again, time to throw this away, wanna make sure that you never waste my time again...how does it feel, Oh, how does it feel to be you right now, dear? You broke this apart, So pick up your piece and go away from here, please just let me go now?” The lyrics of chartbuster “Happy Pills” are powerful and heart- touching. Funky beats and haunting chants (Out, I’ve gotta getcha, out of my head, get out!), and an amazing and well constructed accompanying music video make ‘Happy Pills’ the year’s most exceptional and epic song. The final track, ‘All A Dream’ and the last page of Norah’s journal declares her ex-lover her enemy: “Enemy teases every minute in my mind, he’s in my mind, enemy throws all my money away, enemy knows how to make me always pay, I always pay” Norah makes a promise to herself to never see him again and be strong, “to fight off this weakness, and tell him to guard me ‘cause god knows I’m sorry.” She looks forward to what the next morning brings. With Little Broken Hearts, Norah reinvents herself as a classier, elegant, and genre-bending artist. Two things are certain- Norah never disappoints her fans, and secondly, she always accepts the challenge of sounding unique and different in all of her records but still managing the subtlety, smoothness and purity in her songs, a classification that created a league of devoted and loyal fans ever since 2002’s Come Away with Me to this day....

Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper
Little broken hearts