Norah Jones rose to fame with the sweetly sunny songs "Come Away With Me" and "Sunrise", which earned her the title of Most Requested Artist For Every Wedding, Ever. But her newest album, "Little Broken Hearts", is quite a departure from what fans are used to, and while some are wailing for the old lovesick Norah back, I think it's a good thing.
The single "Miriam", for instance, and the video which accompanies it, is one of the most darkly, disturbingly beautiful things I've ever witnessed, and I want more. It's rare that I want to run out and buy an album based solely on one song, but this has done it.
The video is pitch-perfect; there's heartbreak, there's vengeful murder, there's haunting imagery of a lake at twilight complete with a rowboat and an oar covered in blood. As a girl who grew up listening to Johnny Cash and adoring anything with even a hint of a darkside, it's everything I could ask for. Jones has tapped into the rarely-glimpsed side almost all of us harbor; even if the rest of us don't carry out the deed, sometimes it's refreshing to see those very human emotions--tinged with madness and revenge--being played out by someone we've grown to love. We've all been heartbroken; most of us have been done wrong by someone we care about. Jones has managed to capture the rage that comes along with those experiences and has tapped into the cathartic world of laying herself bare and exposing her bones to us all rather than the sweet side we expect, and I applaud her for it.
Also, check out "Happy Pills", which seems to be a prequel of sorts to "Miriam". The music is decidedly upbeat considering the lyrics, but it's a fascinating little story all the same.