Norah Jones Returns To Her Roots With Day Breaks
In the minds of many, Norah Jones seemed to have slipped into obscurity after her 2002 multi-platinum debut album, Come Away With Me. This perception is understandable considering Jones opted to move away from the traditional jazz genre of her first album, which sold over 11 million copies and earned her an astonishing eight Grammy awards.
Jones instead experimented with the sounds of folk/country, honky-tonk, and pop arrangements. Whether by design or by accident, the albums following her landmark album failed to capture a mass audience or maintain the interest of her fans. Now, Jones returns to her jazz roots with the release of Day Breaks.
This studio album will not only remind her long-time fans why they were impressed with her music 14 years ago, but it may very well earn her scores of new followers. The versatile vocalist continues to incorporate elements of contemporary jazz, soul and pop that highlight her skill as an artist. Jones proves, once again, that she knows how to touch people’s hearts with lyrics and music. And in the decade-plus since her voice became familiar to millions, her musicianship has matured.
Day Breaks features 12 tracks, including nine originals and three covers. The covers are “Peace,” by Horace Silver, “Fleurette Africaine (African Flower),” by Duke Ellington and Neil Young’s “Don’t Be Denied”. Jones adds a modern twist on these tracks to make them sound contemporary and uniquely hers.
“Carry On,” the first single on the album is at once serene and smooth. It describes someone moving toward one of life’s next destinations , while also providing a glimpse of what to expect from the following 11 tracks.
Devotees and newcomers alike will be fully engaged after listening to Day Breaks from this multi-talented Brooklynite. “It’s A Wonderful Time for Love,” “Once I Had A Laugh,” and “Tragedy,” and “And Then There Was You” all express how one person can change another’s outlook on love. “Flipside,” is a funky and upbeat protest single, an anthem of empowerment.
For fans of Jones who lost track of her after Come Away With Me, Day Breaks will be a most welcome album and worth the wait. Jones has evolved as a singer, songwriter, and composer. This album, her sixth, is sure to be a treat for jazz lovers, because originality is still potent in Jones’ music.