On his 1993 song 'Things', former Replacements singer Paul Westerberg brilliantly summed up the push and pull of romantic love with the lines, "Things I want to tell you, but I don't know how. Things I don't want to tell you, but I have to now." Those words find their latest soulmate in Norah Jones.

Written after her split with her longtime partner, 'The Fall' proves the theory that out of the bad can come the good, or in this case the great - it's the best album Jones has made.

Dismissed by some as the soundtrack to the Sunday papers, she shows snobs and fans that she can push herself as an artist, rummaging around in different styles, becoming darker and more intense and deserving of hours spent with the lyrics sheet. There's no foot on the monitors stuff, but there is lots and lots of heart on the sleeve, and always with the feel of the lived-in or through.

Like Beck's 'Sea Change', there will be people with little time for Jones' other work who will find a special spot for 'The Fall' in their lives. Some say that there are no endings, only beginnings - hopefully Jones can hear that in this album too.

Harry Guerin