Norah Jones, "Chasing Pirates"

82 Billboard Rating

Due Nov. 17, Norah Jones' fourth studio album, "The Fall," will incorporate more rhythm and guitar, but it won't be a 180-degree transformation. In fact, both of these elements are introduced with subtlety and care on the album's first single. "Chasing Pirates" floats along with Jones' breathy, sensual vocals over a stream of guitar effects and a new wave-esque groove, courtesy of producer Jacquire King ( Kings of Leon, Tom Waits). The lyrics are somewhat obscure but still manage to achieve a winning simplicity, as Jones sings of her preoccupied dream state: "Well the man in there swings, while the silliest thing's floppin' around in my brain/And I try not to dream but them possible schemes swim around, wanna drown me in synch." While her jazzy, piano-driven hits have always been rich in songwriting and arrangement, Jones' experimentation with tempo and instrumentation on her new material is a welcome one.-Michael Menachem