Norah Jones
Not Too Late

Blue Note
Reviewed by: Josh Love
Reviewed on: 2007-02-16

Posted 02/16/2007 - 11:44:17 AM by smwynne:
 The music is still as exciting as my grandfather squeezing the air out of his colostomy bag. BUT, on the upside - she has kind of turned into a totally fuckalicious sex kitten. So, I guess it all works out in the end.
Posted 02/16/2007 - 12:33:53 PM by badhaircut:
 don't know why I didn't come...
Posted 02/16/2007 - 02:10:07 PM by markrushton:
 I remember in March 2002 a baby boomer-age female office co-worker and I were driving to a meeting. She had the local jazz station on the radio. Some Norah Jones song was playing. I didn't know who she was, but it sounded pleasant enough. It sure beat the usual bunch of sax music the station played. The baby boomer-age female office co-worker was totally raving about Jones, having heard other cuts from Come Away With Me on this same station. This was a few months before Jones really broke through on commercial stations. I'm not surprised her albums have sold millions. It's the perfect Starbucks music, which is not a knock. As Josh Love said "Someone had to fill the void." There's a huge audience out there craving this kind of stuff, but record companies only push oldies or auto-tuned non-singers onto commercial radio stations.
Posted 02/16/2007 - 02:13:42 PM by mpatton:
 People don't want to be challenged by their entertainment: why do you think "Norbit" was the #1 movie in the States by a landslide? Of course, Norah Jones is even worse. Not only is it unchallenging. Because of the Starbucksization of music, there's a thought that this sophisticated stuff. You get your gourmet coffee with Starbucks and your gourmet music with Norah Jones.
Posted 02/16/2007 - 02:40:33 PM by garlad1:
 hmmm. How is this any different than the other flavors of image and culture that the record industry sells us? Norah seems like too easy a target for a critic to get all lazy and start dropping their cooler-than-thou-street-cred. I love starbucks because I'm a corporate whore and they have free wi-fi (There...when's the last time you heard someone say THAT?!?!)- sharpen up kiddies.
Posted 02/16/2007 - 03:39:37 PM by grandbanks:
 What's also interesting is that when you look into that void you see The Shins and Decembrists nuzzling right on up to it with the Hold Steady not far behind. Not saying these are bad records (though not a fan), but what a world we live in.
Posted 02/16/2007 - 04:41:53 PM by Nodima:
 I think the real question Norah Jones raises, as someone who's enjoyed her since "Don't Know Why" slipped into the public conciousness, is whether or not we as a music listening community have become too jaded to simply enjoy something with no ambition. Sometimes I feel like I'm listening to (and this isn't a megative thing, necessarily, just an observation) a bunch of prog rockers that are too hip for prog. Which leaves them with a rare collection of things to enjoy. There's the camp where nothing is as good as the '70s and the camp where nothing's as good as the last record, but there's not really a camp where everything is a-ok. I'm glad the internet has provided a major boom in the distribution of music (albeit at the possible dismissal of the artists involved) but it's also caused a substantial boom in specificity, which I'm not sure was the point. Like Panda Bear (Animal Collective) said in his Guest List feature on Pitchfork, some bands are just worth enjoying because they achieve their goals. If the goal isn't necessarily negative and, as Josh is opining, fills a noticeable void in society, what exactly is bad about it? Norah Jones has talent, and she applies it to a specific purpose over and over and achieves her goal every time and it never comes off as distorted or unofficial. Can a personal rally against commercialization really penalize Ms. Jones enough to consider her worse than, of all things, NORBIT? Can someone honestly have that opinion with a straight face? What Eddie Murphy has done to his career is on an entirely different level than Norah Jones' actions.
Posted 02/16/2007 - 07:12:03 PM by cwperry:
 I'm not sure how it happens (other than marketing, but there is something magical about it, too) that some artists just become automatic go-to people for the majority of the population that does not buy records and, arguably, do not love music. Once an artist has reached this point, they cease to be an artist in my eyes--no matter how deserving--and I automatically write them off. This is, perhaps, unfair to the artist in question, but I admit this with honesty the same way garlad1 admits his/her comfort with Starbucks. Plenty of once-great (in my eyes) folks have gone through this: Elton John and Rod Stewart. But then you have the people who seem to arrive there fully-formed, to be Grammy fodder for decades (not to be confused with people who become Grammy fodder for decades, n.b. Bonnie Raitt). Ay yi yi, poor Norah's albums look like cups of fake coffee to me, but I do like her wild streak that allows her to do things like sing with Mike Patton. And am I the only one who thinks "I Don't Know Why" or whatever is the most underdeveloped thing ever? It sounds like a three-line poem looped over and over or, to continue the coffee references, like a cup of weak coffee made with the skimmest of milk--there just is nothing going on in that song--it's one nice little vocal riff repeated with no glue to hold it together. Why am I even writing this? Ugh.
Posted 02/17/2007 - 08:14:50 PM by mpatton:
 Actually, why is Norah Jones > Norbit?
Posted 02/18/2007 - 12:36:37 AM by arlucasinc:
 I'm just glad I can wear my headphones at work.
Posted 02/19/2007 - 10:48:25 AM by markrushton:
 Pat Metheny, the same guy who recorded Zero Tolerance For Silence and who wanted to wrap a guitar around the neck of Kenny G, found "Don't Know Why" intriguing enough to cover a couple years ago, for what it's worth. Not like he needs the cash. Good cover, too.
Posted 02/19/2007 - 11:26:41 AM by cwperry:
 markrushton: Interesting, I didn't know about the Pat Metheny cover. He wouldn't get the cash anyway, the song's composer(s) would.
Posted 02/19/2007 - 11:37:54 PM by saturnsf:
 She's starring in the new Wong Kar-Wai film! Not as good as Faye Wong, obv.
Posted 02/20/2007 - 01:06:14 AM by cwperry:
 saturnsf: What!??! Oh my, I've seen it all.