Norah Jones returns to the piano-filled jazz songs of her debut album “Come Away with Me” with her new album “Day Breaks.” Released on Oct. 7, the album is a cozy return to the artist we all fell in love with.
The album starts out with “Burn,” a sultry lounge song with poetic lyrics. The song tells a story with lines like “the plot begins with you and me in dark lit rooms. Your cigarette cuts through. I wear it like perfume.”
The album is about 50 minutes long and includes nine new songs and three covers. Departing from the guitar-based, country sound of Jones’ latest albums, she plays the piano throughout the album in her sixth studio album.
Jones has maintained her critically acclaimed status. She has won nine Grammys, including Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, among others.
The irresistible old-style song “And Then There was you” was one of the best songs of the album. As she playfully sings, her voice is showcased beautifully in the song.
Renowned musicians in the jazz world appear on the album including drummer Brian Blade, organist Lonnie Smith and saxophonist Wayne Shorter.
The album’s title track “Day Breaks” is beautifully haunting with its gentle piano chords and a jazzy saxophone solo that ends the song. The message is melancholy; Jones laments, “it keeps raining in my heart.”
The album includes three covers. Jones covers “Fleurette Aficaine (African Flower)” by famous jazz composer and musician Duke Ellington, “Don’t be Denied” by folk rock musician Neil Young and “Peace” by jazz pianist Horace Silver. Jones’ song “Flipside” was partly inspired by jazz musician Les McCann’s 1971 “Compared to What.”
Released in August, “Carry On” was the first single to be released off the album. The song is reminiscent of the sound of her debut album “Come Away with me.” The nostalgic music video shows Jones on the piano in the home of an older couple dancing and cooking.
Final score: 4/5
“Day Breaks” is a solid jazz record that satisfies the fans that loved Jones’ debut album “Come Away with Me.” The album has a cozy feeling, and the music is good. Norah Jones has successfully maintained her status as a jazz musician over six albums with relatively consistent critical acclaim and reception from fans. Although she has achieved greatness with her music through building a consistent sound, she does not experiment or improve much, maybe because she does not have to. With her new album, Jones remains relevant while coming full circle and reminding us all why we first fell in love with her.
Jones is currently touring the U.S. and Europe. To see her tour dates, visit norahjones.com.