Norah & Co. clearly love Country music, and they want you to love it too.
It's been six years since their last release, and I for one don't mind the wait, provided what we get is worth it, as this album certainly is. They are not playing this music simply to appeal to a demographic, but rather for the sheer love of it, and it shows - the result is humorous, human, and engaging.
There are plenty of critics who feel Norah Jones should return to and stick with what got her noticed in the first place, her soft, pop/jazz, "Come Away With Me" style. I disagree, and I'm glad that she seems to as well. She could easily pump out songbook standards, but she's not, she's showing breadth as an artist, she's taking chances - with sometimes mixed, sometimes brilliant results.
Richard Julian's vocals suit the material masterfully - straight-forward, oddly familiar, almost spoken rather than sung, and serving as a perfect counterpoint on his duets with Norah. Campilongo, Rieser, and Alexander, as ever, are spot on.
Perhaps not an album for everyone - but for people who love music, and who love listening to people who love music make the music they love (I'd like to lump myself in here), it's a no-brainer.