Rolling Stone - p.663 stars out of 5
-- "[S]he's quirkier lyrically than any of her helpmates. And she remains pop's nicest superstar..."
Entertainment Weekly - p.122
"NOT TOO LATE has a slightly, rougher, home-studio sound....[With] slow, gorgeous dream-pop ballads..." -- Grade: B-
Q - p.983 stars out of 5
-- "[An] understated blend of country, folk, jazz and soul....Simple songs, lovingly crafted and sweetly sung."
Uncut - p.754 stars out of 5
-- "[S]omething altogether fresh....Just like that, Jones transforms herself into the gentlest of cutting-edge artists."
Down Beat - p.58
"Jones still favors gentle love songs, tunes streaked with a mix of nostalgia and hope, and her elegant amalgam of acoustic pop, soft focus country and polished blues still goes down like a spoonful of sugar."
No Depression - p.108
"NOT TOO LATE operates from an intimate stance.....Acoustic textures and bone-dry vocals draw the focus to the tune..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1044 stars out of 5
-- "Jones has reclaimed her music on her own terms, establishing a new level of artistry with a fascinating line in subversion of the politest kind."
Personnel: Norah Jones (vocals, piano, Wurlitzer piano); Daru Oda (vocals, whistle); Jesse Harris (acoustic guitar); Adam Levy (electric guitar); Kevin Breit (mandolin); Julia Kent, Jeffrey Zeigler (cello); Larry Goldings (Hammond b-3 organ); Lee Alexander (bass instrument); Andrew Borger (drums).
For a young and commercially successful artist, Norah Jones has admirably avoided playing it too safe. After scoring an unlikely sales sensation and multiple Grammy award winner with 2002's torchy COME AWAY WITH ME, Jones shifted gears slightly to accent that album's country and folk elements on the 1970s-styled follow-up, FEELS LIKE HOME. Following that, Jones deliberately played with expectations, first becoming a low-key sideman in a quirky alt-country band called the Little Willies, then playing the lead role in a new movie by Hong Kong arthouse director Wong Kar-Wai.
Jones's third album, NOT TOO LATE, is perhaps not as extreme as any of those other moves away from her initial comfort zone, but it's a departure nonetheless. Recorded by Jones and longtime collaborator Lee Alexander in their home studio and featuring only self-penned material, NOT TOO LATE is far less polished than Jones's previous records, with many songs featuring little more than the singer's familiar croon, a Floyd Cramer-influenced piano, and Alexander's subtle bass. Not quite jazz, country, or pop, NOT TOO LATE fuses all of Jones's influences into an immediately identifiable whole. It's easily her most mature and personal album to date.