Saturday, November 02, 2019

Madeleine Peyroux - Careless Love (2004)

Madeleine Peyroux released her sophomore album, Careless Love, a whopping eight years after her stellar debut. Why it took so long is unknown but when there is that large of a gap betweens records we should expect the follow up to be very, very good. Fortunately, it is.

Just as they did on Dreamland, Peyroux's vocals generate Billie Holiday comparisons but unlike like Lady Day, the former street busker's reach extends far beyond the realm of jazz.

Careless Love has only one self-penned tune and that allows Peyroux to record some excellent cover material. The set starts off with a bang. She uses Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To The End Of Love" to prove how well she can interpret somebody else's work. Her reading of Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," originally found on his legendary Blood On The Tracks LP, is superb. She also covers Hank Williams, as well as the title cut by W. C. Handy, and an old jazz standard "The Lonesome Road."

"Don't Wait To Long," the only original entry, shows Peyroux has great taste in collaborators because her co-writer here is none other than Jesse Harris who wrote a lot of Norah Jones' first album.

Peyroux's band only plays what is necessary so they never become a distraction. They keep everything mellow, never working up a sweat, and their contributions are important to this disc's enjoyment.

If you haven't heard this very good set of songs yet please make sure that you do.

Madeleine Peyroux's official website can be found here.

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