Listening to this album it is hard to believe this isn't one of the great black female Jazz artists from the 30's or 40's. Madeleine Peyroux has a voice very reminiscent of Billie Holliday yet uniquely her own. She delivers her songs with a style and maturity way beyond her years; she was a mere 22 years old when she recorded this. As well as covering some well-known numbers Ms Peyroux performs some of her own songs proving she is as talented a songwriter as she is a singer. There isn't a track on this album that isn't flawlessly performed but particularly outstanding are 'La Vie En Rose' and 'A Prayer'. This is an album that you want to listen to with the lights low and curled up in a comfy chair.... bliss.
I have all three of Madeleine Peyroux's albums now having recently purchased this beauty. All through the album, you can tell the quality and the feeling in her vocal performance. I find it difficult to believe now that it took 8 years before Madeleine Peyroux became a household name with her second album "Careless Love" and not this one. Never mind. This is still a wonderful album.
This album is a launching pad for Madeleine Peyroux to launch from. Her singing style is very similar to that of Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith, the jazz and blues divas of their time. It hits off with "Walking After Midnight" and finishes off with a blues-fuelled "Lovesick Blues". The tracks inbetween are also of distinction including "Dreamland", the title track, a delicious blues-jazz fusion, "La Vie En Rose", a beautiful tribute to the Little Sparrow, Edith Piath and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter".
What Madeleine Peyroux does so well on this amazing album is breathe new life into these old and well known songs (she does this on her other albums too but she did it here first). Fusing jazz in with the blues is a neat idea and it works extremely well and her voice is refreshing to hear and she sings the songs to perfection. A joy from start to finish.
I came to this artist when stumbling on a TV report of the North Sea Jazz Festival whilst on assignment in Newcastle upon Tyne. I couldn't wait to get to the record store. Fortunately one of the assistants had heard of her but there had been a run on her CD's that week and they had sold out. I ordered this CD and waited patiently until it arrived. I was delighted with what I heard but was dissapointed that the song I hoped to be included was not there. This was " The Rock Island Line " . I didn't think anyone could sing it again after Mr Donnegan's 60's hit but believe me her treatment of the old Leadbelly song accompanierd by a superb trumpet player and rhythm section was sensational....
I heard this music reviewed first on Public Radio and immediately had to order it. For those romantic evenings with candlelight or a home alone crying into your wine, this is the CD for you. Excellent for jazz and swing enthusiasts.
Stunning This singer does not copy Billie, she sounds like her, and can take a blues number and swing it, a true jazz singer! She also gives an authentic thirties style to this album Amazing its as if she is streamlining Billie !
Sometimes classic songs should be left well alone. While Madeleine Peyroux's rendition of Walkin' After Midnight, is a perfectly well executed rendition of the Patsy Cline hit, my feeling is that it is too much Patsy Cline's, to be comfortably covered by another vocalist. Apart from which it's out of place on this album. As it happens I prefer this version of La Vie En Rose to the original performed by Edith Piaf.
Aprt from the strange choice of opening track this is an enjoyable (if somewhat mawkish) selection of songs which are almost flawlessly performed.
There's a lot to like. If you are a fan of Madeleine Peyroux you won't want to miss it.
This is unquestionably the best debut album I have ever heard, and I have been collecting records for over forty years. Yes, Madeleine's voice is reminiscent of Billie Holiday, and it is apparent that she has been listening to Bessie Smith and the great blues divas, but she has a shining talent of her own. Listen to her version of Edith Piaf's 'La Vie en Rose' - others have tended to copy 'the Little Sparrow', but Madeleine gives it new life. I have her second album, and it is not quite as good as her first, but that is no condemnation. I look forward to her third!