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Customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Standing on the Rooftop
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 May 2013
Not as polished as Careless Love, but rootsier, original compositions (mostly), creative and rawer edged. A nice balance. The instrumentation is flawless throughout. An insight into the creative workings of Peyroux, her lush vocal talents, her inner stresses, strains and reflections. Takes a few listens to appreciate the mastery involved, but once you get hooked....! Enjoy!
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on 11 July 2011
Funny old album, I saw Madeleine years ago when she was busking in Paris - there was a magic offbeat quality that had slightly sliped away on her albums BUT this shows signs off a getting that spirit back while still showing off that wonderful voice. Love in Vain is a superb version...... The only thing she needs to tighten up on is the the standard of her song writing. It's nice to hear/see a talented young(ish) singer doing it the way they want to. Listen with an open mind and you'll be pleasently surprised
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on 26 September 2011
Oh dear. By the sound of some of these reviews I might think that Peyroux was on a downward spiral. Nothing like. This CD is intelligent, inventive and has variety. For me, Peyroux has improved with each issue. I can impress my blues-rock friends with 'The Kind You Can't Afford', my sentimental ones with 'Lay Your Sleeping Head'. She creates something new with 'Love In Vain' and 'I Threw It All Away' and her own songs are up to Bare Bones standard. What's more, the production and sound are top quality. 'Don't Pick A Fight With A Poet'. Good advice. One caveat (and I agree with some of the grumps) - it was a mistake to start with 'Martha My Dear'. It won't catch the ears of the uncommitted.
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on 31 August 2011
This got a pretty good write-up in the Guardian, who are not easily impressed. So, being gullible, I bought it. It starts with a cover version of 'Martha my dear', a well-known McCartney vehicle. You wonder why people do cover versions of Beatles songs, as they are so hard to better. Unfortuntely, Madeleine not only fails to add anything to it, but you wonder at one point if she is even going to carry it. Will she reach the high notes in the middle eight? 'Hold your head up you silly girl, see what you've done....' Instead, the second number would have been a much better opener, as it is fairly up-tempo with a lovely sinewous guitar throughout. The disc then opens out into a nice gentle groove of a new take on bluesy popular music. She even does a very eerie version of Robert Johnson's Love in Vain. Throughout, her voice has the vulnerability of Peggy Lee. However, although most of the songs are partly self-penned, she does not sound as if she really takes command of them.
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on 5 July 2011
Bravely, if cautiously, stepping out of her comfort zone Madeleine Peyroux's latest album is something of a schizophrenic affair. It works best on those tracks where she dares to be different; less so on the more familiar straight jazz-vocal arrangements, where by and large the songs themselves are not sufficiently noteworthy to jostle for position with better examples from her back catalogue.

But where it's good, it's very good. A dark, sinister and avant-garde reading of Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain" is as effective as it is surprising; we're deep in Robin Holcomb territory here. Similarly, the title track - all stuttering, staccato guitars and a vocal hinting at hidden menace - is enthralling. Further unexpected pleasures arrive in the form of "The Kind You Can't Afford", a stylish collaboration with Bill Wyman, whilst an insistent guitar riff and a fine guitar solo lift "The Things I've Seen Today" out of the ordinary.

Elsewhere, though, there's a sense of déjà vu on a number of tracks; all impeccably performed in Madeleine's highly distinctive style but too many lacking that real killer spark. Fifteen tracks long, the album as a whole might have benefited from jettisoning two or three of these.

There are some really top-notch players on board here, including New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint and Tom Waits' guitar lieutenant Marc Ribot, who add their own recognisable gloss to the proceedings.

But it's the experimental stuff that opens the door to some fascinating future possibilities. At the moment, the artist appears at the crossroads (Robert Johnson would have understood!); to the right, the familiar comfortable and well-trodden jazz vocal path; to the left, a musical Twilight Zone. Which way will she go?
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on 16 August 2011
Having listened to all the previous albums was a little disappointed. Lacks bite but still good from this great jazz singer
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 July 2011
Madeleine Peyroux's first two CDs on Rounder with Larry Klein in the producer's chair were masterpieces that perfectly matched Madeleine's beautiful Billy Holiday-like voice with both a great selection of songs and wonderful backing. Sadly I didn't think that 2009's `Bare Bones' worked as well, although I applaud them both for trying something different by dropping the covers in favour of original songs, including collaborations with Walter Becker, Joe Henry, David Batteau and Julian Coryell.

This latest recording features Craig Street as producer (his credits include Norah Jones, k.d. Lang and Cassandra Wilson) and reverts to a similar mixture of covers and original songs as `Half the Perfect World'. I'm afraid that I think it's even worse than `Bare Bones', for me there are hardly any tracks that work - nearly every song seems to have a disconnect between the vocals and the backing. The intro to Dylan's "I threw it all away" sounds great but then the vocals come in and it all just spirals downwards and to put it bluntly I think she murders the Beatles' "Martha, My Dear" and also Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain". I felt the original songs did work better than the covers and if I had to pick a 'favourite' track I'd have to go for "The kind you can't afford". Come back Larry Klein I think Madeleine needs you...
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on 16 August 2011
I heard her sign on Radio 4 and was fascinated by the calm unpretentious voice that captured the mood of her songs perfectly -- no gimmicks just great singing. She has a dry wit that is seen in the wonderful 'Don't Pick a Fight with a Poet.' For those who don't know her, listen and enjoy a great talent/
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on 15 August 2011
Fantastic album - Even better than the prEvious one. Particuarly like don't pick a fight with a poet - it is very witty. Enjoyement of the album enhanced by seeing Madeleine perform it at the Baribican a couple of days before I bought it
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on 24 September 2011
Don't get me wrong - I love Madeleine Peyroux, but this is way off course. There are a handful of tracks that aren't bad but there are also some real turkeys. Faced with the chocolate box of the Beatle's back catalogue she has picked out one of the orange creams (Martha My Dear) and then dropped it on the carpet and trodden it into an unrecognisable mess. The title track suffers from an intrusive turgid rythm beat and others are so slow and soporific they should come with a health warning not to drive when listening to them.

Come on Madeleine - the early stuff was wonderful. Get yourself a new producer and start again.
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