It's been a busy year so far for beauty queen and angelic vocalist Norah Jones.
Jones, who will perform at Red Butte Garden this summer, has released two fine albums already in 2012 - the first an album of country covers with her side project The Little Willies called "For The Good Times," is one of the most fun albums released so far this year.
And this month's release "Little Broken Hearts" is about as close to indie-rock as Jones is likely to get. The moody, melancholy album, however, is every bit as tuneful and melodic as the previous country record.
Jones, pictured above, sounds like a sad angel on "After The Fall" and a barroom madame on "4 Broken Hearts." The melody, with its long looping verses isn't something most singers could do - even on their best nights. That Jones makes it sound so easy is a testament to her vocal talents.
Jones is also in fine form on the winsome album opener "Good Morning." And while this release is worth owning - if you're a fan of vintage country songs, the year's earlier Jones release is just about a must-have.
Country nuggets like the title track and "Diesel Smoke and Dangerous Curves" showcasing Little Willie band member Richard Julian on lead vocals and using Jones perfectly on the chorus, where she sounds like a country-fried siren. Other highlights include the Dolly Parton chestnut "Jolene" and a classic Willie Nelson deep cut called "Remember Me." Throw in a cheeky remake of Loretta Lynn's "Fist City," and this album's lone fault is that just about 40 minutes, it doesn't go on long enough.
Fans of Jones will want both releases and are likely already counting down to her Red Butte Garden show on Aug. 21.