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NOTICE: The Charter Vision project is dormant as of January 2008. This website is provided for archival purposes only.

Review: “Not Too Late”

Unknown School) Posted February 15 2007

Editor’s note: Chelsea is a new contributor to Charter Vision as of 2006-07. She attends Riverbend Academy in Mankato.

In today’s music culture filled with hip-hop and over-edited pop songs, it’s a refreshing change to hear an artist with genuine talent. Norah Jones, noted most for her 2002 single “Don’t Know Why,” wrote her third full-length album Not Too Late to follow 2004’s Feels Like Home, which was also released by Blue Note Records.

Though this is the first time she has written (or co-written) every song on an album, Jones’ distinctive vocal style still holds her familiarly breathy melodies and controlled expressiveness. Whether crooning about failed love in songs such as “Wake Me Up,” using tea and soup as metaphors in her melancholy “Sinkin’ Soon,” or even pulling off a political theme in the haunting track “My Dear Country,” she writes lyrics that are substantial and relevant. And while Norah’s voice and empathic lyrics are the allure of the music, the well-balanced instrumentals range from steady acoustic guitars and very effective piano, to trombones, cellos, and mandolins.

Despite the fact that Not Too Late‘s blend of jazz and folk has artistic merit, the songs aren’t likely to get you singing along. They’re refined and enchanting, but they’ll put you in a slumberous daydream before having you excited about the persistently slow tempos. Then again, this genre is jazz going country, not just the usual hip-hop or over-edited pop music.

Favorite track: “My Dear Country”

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