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Frank W. Ockenfels

A bad breakup yields gorgeous, melancholic results on Norah Jones’ new album.

Though she was raised largely in Grapevine, Texas, Norah Jones has lived and worked in New York City for long enough that her last album featured a song called “Back to Manhattan.” To make her new one, though, the Grammy-winning singer relocated last summer to Los Angeles, where she hooked up with Danger Mouse, the shape-shifting record producer best known as half of Gnarls Barkley. “It was so nice,” Jones remembers of her working vacation. “I brought my dog, and we’d go hiking on the weekends.”

Given those favorable conditions, you’d expect the music she recorded to reflect some old-fashioned fun in the sun, right? Not so much. On Little Broken Hearts (Blue Note Records, $18), Jones leaves behind the mellow pop-jazz of her smash 2002 debut, Come Away with Me, and digs into a darker, moodier sound; her singing is still as sumptuous as ever, but this time it floats over minor-key guitars and ominous electronics. “Each record is like its own little moment in time,” she says, acknowledging that Little Broken Hearts charts a painful breakup. “I don’t want to do the same thing over and over.”

Jones first met Danger Mouse when he asked her to contribute vocals to Rome, his 2011 tribute to classic Italian film music. “We ended up getting along really well on that and became friends very fast,” she says. “I think we connected musically, even though we have really different influences.” The pair spent about a month working by themselves, then called in a handful of studio musicians to flesh out the arrangements. Even so, Jones was careful not to gloss over the rawness captured in songs like “Happy Pills,” the disc’s deceptively titled lead single, which finds her begging an ex, “Would you please just let me go now?” (Compare that with the guarded soft-focus metaphors of “Don’t Know Why.”)

Of her newly confessional songwriting, Jones says, “I’ve just gone through more, and that makes it easier to be straightforward. I think I’m older now.” She stops and laughs. “Well, I guess I know I am.”