The Fall (Norah Jones album)

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The Fall
The Fall by Norah Jones.png
Studio album by Norah Jones
Released November 11, 2009 (2009-11-11)
Recorded 2008–2009
Length 45:49
Label Blue Note
Producer Jacquire King
Norah Jones chronology
Not Too Late
The Fall
... Featuring Norah Jones
Singles from The Fall
  1. "Chasing Pirates"
    Released: October 13, 2009
  2. "Young Blood"
    Released: February 16, 2010[1][2][3]
  3. "Stuck"
    Released: March 5, 2010 (UK)
  4. "It's Gonna Be"
    Released: April 2010

The Fall is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Norah Jones, released November 17, 2009, through Blue Note Records. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, selling 180,000 copies in its first week. As of August 2012, the album has sold more than three million copies worldwide.[4]

Background and production[edit]

Prior to the album's release Jones' official website stated that she "has taken a new direction on The Fall, experimenting with different sounds and a new set of collaborators, including Jacquire King, a noted producer and engineer who has worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, and Modest Mouse among others. Jones enlisted several songwriting collaborators, including Ryan Adams and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, as well as her frequent partner Jesse Harris. King also helped Jones put together a new group of musicians to perform on the album, including drummers Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and James Gadson (Bill Withers), keyboardist James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Al Green), and guitarists Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer)", Lyle Workman, (Bourgeois Tagg, film composer for Superbad), and Peter Atanasoff (Rickie Lee Jones, Tito and Tarantula). The cover artwork for the album features a portrait by photographer Autumn de Wilde.[5]

Singles and promotion[edit]

  • The first single, "Chasing Pirates," was released on October 13, 2009.
  • Young Blood” was released as the second single for North America, Europe (minus the UK) and Japan. The music video was made available at iTunes on 30 March 2010. The song has reached #33 on the Japan Hot 100.[6]
  • "Stuck" was released as the second single on March 5, 2010 in the UK (digitally only).[7][8]
  • "It's Gonna Be" was released as the third single for North America in April 2010.[9][10] It charted on the billboard Triple A Chart and peak on airplay chart #11 in April 2010. Jones performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[11] Jones reappeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on June 25 and performed "It's Gonna Be" on the show for a second time.[12] She performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on August 31, 2010.[13]

To promote the release of the album Jones appeared on:


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 73/100[15]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[16]
The A.V. Club B[17]
Chicago Tribune 2.5/4 stars[18]
Entertainment Weekly B-[19]
PopMatters (5/10)[20]
Robert Christgau (choice cut)[21]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[22]
Slant 3/5 stars[23]
USA Today 3/4 stars[24]
The Washington Post (mixed)[25]

The Fall received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 73 out of 100, which indicates "generally favorable reviews" based on 22 reviews.[15]

Billboard gave the album a score of 83 out of 100 and stated that "Jones ditches the gentle piano-playing of her previous work and rises to a new level of creative boldness."[26] The New York Times gave it a favorable review and called it "the sonic and emotional expansion [Jones'] music needed, and it's tied to some of her most unguarded songs."[27] Uncut gave it four stars out of five and said that "The emotional imprint... moves beyond the pining, wistful tones that are [Jones'] trademark in favor of Sex And The City scenarios bursting with heartbreak, regret and emotional devastation."[28] Q also gave it four stars out of five and praised the album for its "copper-bottomed classics".[15] musicOMH likewise gave it four stars out of five and said, "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."[29] Hot Press gave it a score of four out of five with the header: "Easy listening princess goes indie-goth."[30] The Boston Globe gave it a favorable review and stated that Jones "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."[31]

Filter gave the album a score of 78% and stated that "unlike Not Too Late, Jones’ latest decision to ditch her keys for strings is a poor one. In a way, she has 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."[32] Paste gave it a score of 7.6 out of 10 and stated that "Jones is clearly comfortable with where she’s arrived, and is ready to throw open the doors for a party."[33] Spin gave it a score of seven out of ten and said that the album "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."[15][34]

Other reviews are average or mixed: The Austin Chronicle gave the album three stars out of five and said it "offers many new sides to Jones while remaining comfortably close to the jazz diva many adore."[35] Yahoo! Music UK gave it six stars out of ten and stated that "If the hardcore fanbase feel a blanch coming on, this isn't all wilful eclecticism gone mad. [Jacquire] King's work is The Fall's unifying factor that keeps it cohesive."[36] Mojo gave it three stars out of five and said that "The wrong kind of sonic adventure undermines about half the songs."[15] The Guardian also gave it three stars out of five and stated that "Jones's cashmere voice sounds more polite than ever, creating an overriding impression of a nice girl keeping dirty company."[37] Under the Radar gave it five stars out of ten and called it "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."[15]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Chasing Pirates"   Norah Jones 2:40
2. "Even Though"   Jones, Jesse Harris 3:52
3. "Light as a Feather"   Jones, Ryan Adams 3:52
4. "Young Blood"   Jones, Mike Martin 3:38
5. "I Wouldn't Need You"   Jones 3:30
6. "Waiting"   Jones 3:31
7. "It's Gonna Be"   Jones 3:11
8. "You've Ruined Me"   Jones 2:45
9. "Back to Manhattan"   Jones 4:09
10. "Stuck"   Jones, Will Sheff 5:15
11. "December"   Jones 3:05
12. "Tell Yer Mama"   Jones, Harris, Richard Julian 3:25
13. "Man of the Hour"   Jones 2:56
Total length:

Bonus tracks[edit]



  • Jacquire Kingengineer, mixing, producer
  • Tom Schick – additional engineer (3, 6, 9, 11) and add. producer (6, 11)
  • Brad Bivens – engineer
  • Morgan Stratton – assistant engineer
  • Brian Thorn – assistant engineer
  • Jon Stinson – mixing assistant
  • Greg Calbi – mastering
  • Macklam Feldman – management
  • Eli Wolf and Ronette Bowie – A&R
  • Gordon H. Jee – creative director
  • Frank Harkins – art direction, design
  • Autumn de Wilde – photography


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Peak
Argentinian Albums Chart[43] 9
Australian Albums Chart[44] 17
Austrian Albums Chart[45] 3
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[46] 3
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[46] 1
Canadian Albums Chart[47] 3
Czech Albums Chart[48] 10
Danish Albums Chart[45] 9
Dutch Albums Chart[45] 5
European Top 100 Albums[49] 3
Finnish Albums Chart[50] 21
French Albums Chart[45] 5
German Albums Chart[47] 3
Greek Albums Chart[51] 5
Hungarian Albums Chart[52] 17
Irish Albums Chart[53] 20
Italian Albums Chart[54] 17
Japanese Albums Chart[55] 6
Mexican Albums Chart[45] 67
New Zealand Albums Chart[56] 10
Norwegian Albums Chart[57] 14
Portuguese Albums Chart[45] 7
Spanish Albums Chart[58] 15
Swedish Albums Chart[45] 2
Swiss Albums Chart[59] 1
Taiwan Western Albums Chart 5
UK Albums Chart[60] 24
US Billboard 200[47] 3
US Billboard Top Rock Albums[61] 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[62] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[63] Gold 10,000*
Belgium (BEA)[64] Platinum 30,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[65] Platinum 80,000^
France (SNEP)[66] Platinum 156,000[67][68]*
Germany (BVMI)[69] Gold 100,000^
Italy (FIMI)[70] Gold 30,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[71] Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[72] Gold 7,500^
Poland (ZPAV)[73] Platinum 20,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[74] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[75] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label(s) Format
Japan November 11, 2009[76] EMI CD
180-gram vinyl
Digital download
Germany November 13, 2009[77]
The Netherlands November 13, 2009[78]
United Kingdom November 16, 2009[79]
United States November 17, 2009[81] Blue Note
Brazil November 30, 2009[82] EMI


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External links[edit]