Norah Jones knows how to go with the flow. Especially these days. In the past year and change, the eclectic and increasingly prolific singer-pianist has released the off-the-cuff album Begin Again (which found her collaborating with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy among others), her alt-country supergroup Puss N Boots’ sophomore set Sister and their holiday EP Dear Santa… Now, mere months after we last heard from her, she’s back again with her eighth studio affair Pick Me Up Off The Floor, which collects an assortment of previously unreleased tunes (including the Tweedy-assisted I’m Alive) from various sessions over the past few years. Naturally, it’s more sonically and stylistically diverse than some of her releases, moving gracefully between jazz, soul, pop, country, folk and more. But as always, Jones’ dusty purr and jazzy touch are the musical glue that binds it all together. It might not be essential for casual fans — but for the faithful, it certainly offers a refreshingly casual pick-me-up. Which probably makes it worth picking up.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Norah Jones didn’t mean to make another album. After she finished touring 2016’s Day Breaks — her beloved return to piano-based jazz — she walked away from the well-worn album cycle grind and into an unfamiliar territory without boundaries: A series of short sessions with an ever-changing array of collaborators resulting in a diverse stream of singles (with Mavis Staples, Rodrigo Amarante, Thomas Bartlett, Tarriona Tank Ball, and more). But then slowly but surely, the session songs Jones hadn’t released congealed into that very thing she’d meant to avoid — an album. But Pick Me Up Off The Floor is not some disjointed collage. It holds together beautifully, connected by the sly groove of her piano trios, lyrics that confront loss and portend hope, and a heavy mood that leans into darkness before ultimately finding the light. “Every session I’ve done, there’ve been extra songs I didn’t release and they’ve sort of been collecting for the last two years,” says Jones. “I became really enamored with them, having the rough mixes on my phone, listening while I walk the dog. The songs stayed stuck in my head and I realized that they had this surreal thread running through them. It feels like a fever dream taking place somewhere between God, the Devil, the heart, the Country, the planet, and me.”