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Barebones, Madeleine Peyroux - Baring her soul...
on 20 January 2011
Madeleine Peyroux's fourth album is a bit of a departure from her previous work in that for the first time she really starts to trust her own songwriting ability rather than reinterpreting other people's work. Her three previous albums (Dreamland, Careless Love and Half A Perfect World) were made up mainly of covers, of everything from Johnny Mercer to Leonard Cohen. They were superb and well worth a listen.
So, how does her own material fare in copmparison? Well, manages to stand up by itself. The songs are well written tales of love, loss and heartache with some lovely lyrics and simple yet effective backing. The style and tone is unchanged, a bluesey, jazzy sound with a voice that bears favourable comparison to Billie Holliday. The backing arrangements are spare and unobtrusive, putting the beautiful voice with its tales to tell at the centre of the stage.
It's a beautiful slow album that will burn to your souls. Highly recommended, as are all of Peyroux's earlier albums)