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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 127 - 02/02/07

Norah Jones
Not Too Late
Blue Note/EMI

Nothing wrong with pleasant pop.

The opening song on Nora Jones' latest album Not too late gives me much the same feeling as her previous albums. To me, the trademark of both the songs and her voice are a certain gentleness that leaves me nicely relaxed. It is exactly the kind of music I prefer at my local coffee shop. Just melancholy enough so that I think slow thoughts and wind down. Very much like her previous albums. Let me be very clear about something; there is nothing wrong about this. Why do you think chain restaurants are so popular? Because preference for familiarity lies deep in the human nature. We are predisposed to enjoy what is familiar. Although I am not a big fan of biological explanations to human behaviour, it is interesting to learn that our preference for the familiar is neurally based, i.e. it 'lies in the brain'. We are predisposed to go for familiar tastes, faces and places. And so the same is most likely true when it comes to music. When listening to Not too late I immediately notice the lovely track 7 called "Broken". It probably reminds me of another song I really like. This predisposition is often ridiculed by people who culture a more advanced taste. To openly enjoy music that is main stream or common (in the sense of 'vulgar') won't earn you much credibility amongst connoisseurs of music. But then luckily they don't come to my local coffee shop and criticise my taste in music.

Nora Jones delivers as far as I am concerned. She brings out just the right amount of slow melancholy in me, so I can enjoy my coffee. My conclusion is: The world is a far too scary and complicated place to cope with to be criticising someone who makes yet another likeable album. There is nothing wrong with pleasant pop.

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