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4.1 out of 5 stars117
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 10 June 2012
Once I got used to the idea that this wasn't going to be exactly like her last two albums, I have so enjoyed these new songs sung in English, French and Portugese. Melody Gardot brings a flavour of Morocco, Buenos Aires and Brazilian beaches to our rain-sodden (so far this summer) island, and Heitor Pereira joins her on 'Amalia' and 'Se Voce Me Ama.' My only quibble is the slick cover, but this is small beer compared to the actual sound of Gardot's lovely, sultry voice creating a dusky holiday mood, be it heartache, sitting outside in a late night cafe, or dancing by the sea on the upbeat 'Lemanja.'
Warmly recommended.
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on 9 July 2012
There are some lovely songs on the Absence but they are less meaty, less visceral than those on her first two albums. But the thing that REALLY annoyed me was the DVD. Only one of the tracks is an actual video recording, and that's the "making of La Vie en Rose"! The other tracks show only a title on the screen! So we don't even get to see her in performance. This is pretty close to false advertizing and disengenuous packaging. And it's bizarre, too, because there are so many good videos of Ms Gardot on YouTube (e.g., the Apple Studio sessions, the recordings of the Somewhere Over the Rainbow in Norway? Denmark?) If the producers were short of video material, why not put these YouTube recordings on the DVD! And finally: the choice of the cover suggests that Miss Gardot is being bullied by her producers. It's time to talk to Nellie MacKay and maybe form your own label, Melody!
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You'll have to keep me on a short lead here! I might just get carried away!
Melody Gardot's 2009 album 'My One and Only Thrill' blew me away (2007's
'Worrisome Heart' wasn't half-bad either). I see absolutely no reason to
revise my view of this superb performer with her new album 'The Absence'.
Her collaboration with Brazilian producer Heitor Pereira is a thing of
real beauty. Restraint is the key word here. Ms Gardot knows how to make
every note and every word count in this collection of eleven bewitching songs.

Take a number like 'So We Meet Again My Heartache'. With a voice which barely
rises above a tremulous whisper Ms Gardot wrings every last ounce of emotion
from a composition which, with its shimmering string arrangement, touches
something deep in our hearts. It is a transcendent performance. So too with the
shadowy allure of 'My Heart Won't Have It Any Other Way', whose impeccable
phrasing and stunning breath control delivers one of her finest performances
to date. The album is an exotic travelogue whose substantially Latin ambience
is full of longing and regret but when she let's her hair down, as she does on the
luminously upbeat final track 'Iemanga', we are compelled to dance along with her!

No ifs, no buts - this is simply glorious stuff!

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Melody Gardot has to date released two impressive albums (`My One And Only Thrill' and `Worrisome Heart') in which she delivered beautiful, heartfelt songs in her trademark low slow voice that rarely rises above a whisper but carries so much passion and dignity that it forces itself to be heard. My one small criticism (and it is a small one) is that there was very little variation in the tracks across both albums. With her third release, The Absence, she has addressed this and produced her greatest album.

Teaming up with Heitor Pereira, she has moved away from the smoky blues/chanteuse style of her earlier albums to embrace a more Latin feel. She is now using a slightly richer backing, tinged with Latin rhythms. She breathes her way through delicate and delightful tracks that speak of love, life and loss. It's slow, but with an infectious beat. And then suddenly, unexpectedly we get `Goodbye' where she picks up the pace and puts a little more power into her voice to give us something different and unexpected. It's a welcome break from the slower mood of the rest of the album, it works well and it is good to see her pushing her boundaries.

THis review has also been posted on the vinyl version. On vinyl it is another level. The added dynamics lets you hear the colour and intonation in Gardot's voice. It becomes a more intimate experience than the CD version.

It's a simply gorgeous album, and thoroughly deserves every success. It just has to be 5 stars.
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on 11 July 2012
Ok, so first off, big fan. Have all discs including multiple editions (usually a big no no for me)and the early EP. Also rate a Melody Concert as probably best I attended in last 10 years. Now to this disc/set. Music overall - for me the weakest of the 3 main albums, but still way ahead of most of the pack out there. Production - irritated by the clicks on the beautiful track 3. Web traffic has established via Melody they are finger nail clicks so not a fault. Fair enough but still irritate. Then there is the last hidden track...after 11 minute wait it's a complete non event. So far though I would still go 4 stars but....
DVD - Feel somewhat swindled. First 2 tracks are nice remixes but there is no visual content. La Vie En Rose kicks in which is not on album so bound to be a visual surely, and worse still it cuts off before the track ends .NOTE TO DELUXE HOLDERS, DOES YOURS DO THE SAME? MINE STOPS AT ABOUT 4 MINS WHEREAS AMAZON US STATES IT'S 5.16 LONG.IS MINE FAULTY? Last 2 parts of DVD are about making of La vie and some missives from Melody on where the album sprung from overall. Ok content here but by this stage I felt cheated. So as an overall package 3 stars just about does it.
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on 16 August 2014
I'm a bit late 'discovering' Melody Gardot, but so glad I have. Lovely laid back songs on this CD, and not one filler - except, perhaps 'Track' 11 Iamanja which is definitely a filler! 18 minutes long, of which 15 minutes is silence. Bizarre - or maybe I've missed the point.... At least it's the last track, so you can stop playing after Track 10. Quality CD , nevertheless.
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on 3 March 2013
Watched the documentary of her accident, etc on Sky Arts and was touched by this amazing women. Thank you to Art Therapy....Melody Gardot you've been added to my music collection. Yep, I have brought all her albums. Couldn't resist......Beautiful.......Beautiful!!!!
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on 30 June 2012
This is the second CD of hers I have purchased and it is very different from the first one, largely because of the South American musical influences of her Producer, Heitor Pereira. Her music is very subtle with a jazzy inflexion and I was initially not sure I would enjoy it very much. However, it has certainly grown on me and I suspect will continue to do so. One can also only admire the difficulties she has had to overcome after her terrible accident some years ago.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 30 May 2012
People often say things in their reviews like "if you like xyz, you'll like this" or "if you liked this, try that". Well, having had a listen to this today, all I can say is "If you like Melody Gardot, it's touch and go whether you'll like this" - and I'm afraid I don't.

I adored Worrisome Heart, and there is no doubt her voice on this new disc is still superb - but it's a bit too much of a departure for me. It is mostly so laid back it's almost asleep.

And what is the deal with the last track, Iemanja? It seems huge, over 18 minutes long. But it consists of 4 minutes of song, then about 11, yes ELEVEN minutes of complete silence, and then some shambolic noise for the final 3 minutes or so. If someone in the studio is trying to be clever, it doesn't work. So what looks like a 57 minute CD is really nothing of the sort.

Sorry - she has a great talent and a voice to die for, but after Worrisome Heart, I just didn't like this.
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on 2 May 2013
My Favourite all round so far from Melody, I was initially rather put off by the cover when this album first came out, and decided not to buy, but after seeing her in concert in London recently ordered it STRAIGHT AWAY!!! at a bargin! As much as I enjoyed her other work I can honestly say that there is not one track on this album that does not delight my soul. I'm a great lover of the "world music" genre anyway and her inpretation of the various musicial traditions and styles of some of the countries she has travelled to of late are creative and spot on. Really enjoyed the collaboration on this with Heitor Pereira.
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