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42
4.4 out of 5 stars
Half The Perfect World
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Madeleine Peyroux gained international recognition with her album Careless Love and it was an album that prompted me to buy all her previous work. Coming out with a third album under pressure of such success must be incredibly hard. As much as I really love her style and the mood her music puts you in, I have to say the third album is like the third series of The Office: you want it, but you just know you're going to be disappointed. This lady is passionate about her music and I wonder how much passion has been lost through the pressure of producing more music.

In short, it's a lovely album but just doesn't have the magic of Careless Love for me. That's why I've given it a 4.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
After an eight year wait between her first and second albums (Dreamland and Careless Love), chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux only made us wait a further two years for this, her third album.

Again the tone is slow burning blues with a distinct jazz flavour. Peyroux has taken some well chosen covers and a few well written originals to produce an album of smouldering intensity, with tales of love and loss. Peyroux has a beautiful voice, with a timbre and phrasing that invites favourable comparisons with Billie Holliday. Immense care has gone into the recordings, every note sung or played is carefully and thoughtfully done. The backing is light and respectful, giving Peyroux's fine voice centre stage. It is a fine piece of work.

It is an excellent album for those quiet moments alone with a bottle of wine and that special someone. Highly recommended.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 September 2006
I already owned Madeleine Peyroux's previous album 'Careless Love' and I thought that was a delicious album. Full of beautifully arranged songs sung with dreamy precision by Miss Peyroux. When it comes to this album, on the other hand, Madeleine Peyroux's voice really shines like the morning sun in summertime.

There are some old classic timeless songs given a new and exciting slant thanks to the glorious sound coming from this nightingale's mouth. Madeleine Peyroux seems to give these songs on this album her own style and it works extremely well. Take "Everybody's Talkin'" for example. A classic song by Nilsson. She gives it a new twist and it works beautifully. It's the same song but it's sung in a different style. She makes it her own.

I don't really have a single favourite track on this delicious album. All the tracks are wonderfully arranged and put together. There's one song on this album which is a duet with kd lang and it's called 'River'. It's a lovely and tranquil song. In fact all the songs on this album are tranquil and chilled.

Madeleine Peyroux's voice fits these songs like a velvet glove. I would have to say that this album is Madeleine Peyroux's finest moment. She has produced quality songs that, in her own laid-back and chilled style, have been given a new lease of life. If you haven't heard of Madeleine Peyroux, buy this album and you'll see what all the fuss is about. And also get her previous album 'Careless Love', because that is also worth checking out.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2006
The jazz sensation is back - and quite remarkably, this album is stronger than her previous effort `Careless Love'. A logical progression form her last album, Half The Perfect World retains that effortless jazz sound along with those beautiful smokey vocals, but the standard seems to have been stepped up. The production, the song choice, and the original songs included here all add up to make what is undoubtedly one of the albums of the year.

A huge success with her last album, Half The Perfect World - with tracks like `I'm Alright', `River' and `Smile' - can only see Madeleine Peyroux's already burgeoning reputation grow.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2006
Just when you thought she could not do better Madeleine pulls this one out of the bag.

It's a departure from the normal formula but takes her voices places you would not expect.

Ms. Peyroux and the band are, as always , superb and the production values so exceptional, they jump out of the speakers!

This lovely mix of material combined with her voice transport to a magical place where you are completely relaxed and de-stressed.

If you worship music that is stylish and sultry, and you love distinctive,brilliant vocals then this beautifully crafted product is for you.

A great CD for all to discover and savour slowly like an addictive bitter-sweet poison..!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Peyroux sounds uncannily like Billie Holiday when she sings - something I'm sure she isn't deliberately setting out to do - but the similarities wander in throughout this lovely album. This is one of those rare recordings where the choice of songs, the voice and the musical arrangements all come together to produce something that sounds under-stated, and it's a joy from beginning to end. Cover versions and original songs go together really well here - it's the sort of CD you can slip on late in the evening for a chill out without the mood being spoiled half-way through an upbeat, raunchy number that spoils the ambience. Seriously good music. Beautifully produced, wonderfully sung.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2006
This is a good album but her earlier 2 were exceptional. They were sparse and let the music out but this one is more conventional, easy listening and over-produced for my taste.

I like it but this will never be one of my favourites - nothing as original as her interpretions on the first two albums and far too many instruments.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2006
I thought Careless Love was excellent, bought the first album on the strength of that and liked some tracks but some I just switched off to, and bought this latest on the basis of the average experience of the two... To my ears, there are some fine songs here, ably performed but as a whole the album does not (after 3-4 listens anyway) deliver what Careless Love does.

I don't suppose there are many people out there who like Peyroux and also like early Tom Waits but if you know the original Saturday Night then listening to Peyroux's version is like listening to Rolf Harris doing Stairway to Heaven.

I'm sticking it on iTunes and the iPod and I'll give it the ultimate benefit-of-the-doubt test which is to stick anything questionable on the car stacker and play it at least ten times over the next month. It's not a hi-fi experience (10-speaker Bose though) but it's immersive and if that doesn't work for me nothing will.

Three stars seems a little harsh as I can't put my finger on anything specific but Careless Love is a genuine 5-star and I simply can't see this being picked off the shelf anywhere near as often.

Same story with Norah Jones' second, but that's another review...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2013
For me, the highlights of this wonderfully relaxing album are Half the Perfect World and Once in a While. The latter is one of four songs co-written by Peyroux, and is a beautiful ballad lamenting on what might have been with a lost love.

Madeleine Peyroux has a fantastic voice that teases shades of Billie Holiday. She must be up there among the best contemporary jazz vocalists of the last decade.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 7 November 2006
This is easy-listening jazz by a singer with a fine voice that she rarely drives to the limits. Her band provide a perfect and sympathetic backdrop, particularly some excellent organ work. All silky smooth, but I can't help feeling that undemanding selection of material holds Madeleine Peyroux back from her potential.

To choose one example, she duets with k d lang on Joni Mitchell's song River. I love Joni's Blue, but that is arguably the dreariest song on the album. Peyroux could surely have chosen to reinterpret a more challenging and adventurous song?

Don't get me wrong, this is high quality but somewhat empty late-time jazz. I hope the content matches the wrapper next time out!
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