The Fall - Norah Jones

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. If the hardcore fanbase feel a blanch coming on, this isn't all wilful eclecticism gone mad. King's work is The Fall's unifying factor that keeps it cohesive.
  2. On The Fall, Jones is clearly comfortable with where she’s arrived, and is ready to throw open the doors for a party.
  3. During the 13-song set, Jones ditches the gentle piano-playing of her previous work and rises to a new level of creative boldness.
  4. Here, Jones ties up loose ends, unafraid to sound smooth or sultry, letting in just enough dissonance and discord to give this dimension, creating a subtle but rather extraordinary low-key record that functions as a piece of mood music but lingers longer, thanks to its finely crafted songs.
  5. 80
    The emotional imprint of The Fall moves beyond the pining, wistful tones that are her trademark in favour of Sex And The City scenarios bursting with heartbreak, regret and emotional devastation.
  6. Less predictable was her now clear desire to take risks and step off the all-too-well-forged path of safe, agreeable background music. Instead, on The Fall Norah Jones chooses to defy categorization.
  7. Easy listening princess goes indie-goth.
  8. The result is avant-roots music that rocks, albeit gently.
  9. 70
    The Fall has been billed as Norah Jones' rock album. In fact, it's something even more surprising: a hot-blooded soul record from the queen of the even keel.
  10. Jones's cashmere voice sounds more polite than ever, creating an overriding impression of a nice girl keeping dirty company.
  11. Following "Not Too Late," a more nakedly ambitious effort, and her terrific side project with the Little Willies, it's disappointing that The Fall aims for growth but feels so reigned in and restrained.
  12. The Fall offers many new sides to Jones while remaining comfortably close to the jazz diva many adore.
  13. She's also got a voice that seems made to jump genres: supple, mellifluous, effortlessly sexy. But even when Jones lets it rip, so to speak, as on The Fall's moderately rollicking saloon stomper 'It's Gonna Be,' she remains, at heart, a girl gone mild.
  14. It’s the sonic and emotional expansion her music needed, and its tied to some of her most unguarded songs.
  15. She seems liberated from the expectations of what her music is supposed to sound like, and the album is flush with fresh production ideas and a varied sonic palette.
  16. Not Too Late was produced in a home studio and introduced a rawness into her sound that hadn’t been present before, and while it possessed its share of sleepy moments, it still topped the polished and scrubbed tunes that were omnipresent seven years ago when she first captured million of listeners across the world.
  17. The Fall is ultimately a mildly more adventurous art-pop take on her piano-based cabaret style.
  18. The Fall is a concept album with a punchline, with most of the songs detailing the push and pull of a faltering relationship.
  19. It's intelligent, tasteful, and well-executed music. But it ain't rock 'n' roll, not even a little and damn Jones for trying to pretend that it is. [Holiday 2009, p.78]
  20. The Fall contains more than a few copper-bottomed classics: the languid and steamy I Wouldn't Need You, the Ryan Adams co-write Light As A Feather, and Chasing Pirates, a near-perfect two-and-half minute study of the racing thoughts that get in the way of sleep. [Dec 2009, p. 114]
  21. 60
    The wrong kind of sonic adventure undermines about half the songs. A drop of Waitsian, drunken, junkyard percussion might have been just the ticket, but the plethora of drony guitar and keyboard distortions proves distracting, rather than "atmospheric", and impairs the effect of some strong songs including Back To Manhattan and Stuck. [Dec 2009, p. 88]
  22. 66
    But unlike Not Too Late, Jones' latest decision to ditch her keys for strings is a poor one. In a way, she had indeed found a different beat to groove to, and if anyone can play in a piano bar without a piano, it would certainly be Norah Jones. [Holiday 2009, p. 91]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 9, 2012
    Rather than a fall, Norah in fact bounces back up with this release. The songs are all unique, yet bonded by similarities. The Fall has a perfect, melodic flow to it, and its beautiful to listen to. Full Review »