Begin Again, by Norah Jones
Norah Jones is an artist who, like many, I am familiar with from her tasteful and catchy and lovely singles and not really from an album perspective. I watched an interview that talked a fair bit about this mini-album, though, her most recent work, and I thought it would be worthwhile to listen to it and review it (not least because it is a short work at only seven songs and less than half an hour in length) and then see if I wanted to add Norah Jones to my various discography projects. With that context, therefore, let us look at this short album as a whole, which was recorded in three different periods between 2018 and 2019.
The album beings with “My Heart Is Full,” a soulful drone of a song with tasteful instrumentals. If this is not the sort of song one expects to hear on the radio, it certainly is an enjoyable if somewhat repetitive song to hear on one’s own. The title track, “Begin Again,” has a soulful vibe and jazzy instrumentals as the narrator expresses the path of a broken relationship that has the chance to begin again and wonders how something can be brought to life again, with a lot of intriguingly drawn details. This is the sort of song that one can imagine taking place in a smoky bar, or playing in one. “It Was You” is a song about low-key romantic devotion, again with jazzy instrumentation and a somewhat repetitive book, pretty easy to vibe with and one of the more popular songs from the album so far. “A Song With No Name” is a lovely and reflective but also somewhat melancholy acoustic ballad about insecurity in love. “Uh Oh” has a rather dark and conflicted attitude about it, with a driving beat and layered instrumentation that certainly lives up to its name. “Wintertime” is an interesting and quirky song that shows the narrator reflecting on loss and a relationship that appears to bear a close relationship with the winter season. “Just A Little Bit” is a playful if somewhat melancholy song about a narrator who refuses to be “the one” or a muse for what is something that she views as just passing and temporary.
It’s hard to imagine Norah Jones finding very many new fans from this particular project. It’s an enjoyable mini-album, certainly a vibe with tasteful, jazzy, and elegant songs with beautiful instrumentation and often reflective and elegantly painted lyrics. But if you’ve been a fan of Norah Jones from the beginning, this is certainly an album you will be able to enjoy very easily. This isn’t the sort of project that was made to set the charts on fire, but if you want something to listen to by a fireplace in those cool fall and winter months to reflect on life and love, this will certainly do the trick nicely.