Label: Blue Note
Released: April 25
For the past decade, Norah Jones has been a ubiquitous and inoffensive presence in music. She sold a gazillion records after her debut album won a bunch of Grammys, and her soft, sultry stylings were something you could tolerate in certain settings (hungover at your girl's place, for instance). Of course "inoffensive" and "tolerate" aren't ringing endorsements for music. Which is where Danger Mouse comes in.
Danger's done a lot of big things in his career: he's made the greatest mashup record of all time, he's made James Mercer of the Shins funky, and he's made Cee-Lo about 10 boatloads of money. But his greatest feat may be making Norah Jones sound mean.
Broken Little Hearts is, as the title would suggest, a break-up record, but it's not a "woe is me, teardrops in my beer bottle" break-up record. "Miriam" is a searing open letter (word to Mashonda) to her ex's new flame; "She's 22," a put-your-business-in-the-streets salvo toward said ex. Underpinning it all is Danger Mouse's trademark Beatlesque thump. The music is pretty without being cute, which sums up Jones' steez on the record as a whole. Don't mess with Ms. Jones. -Jack Erwin