Madeleine PEYROUX – Bare Bones 2009

Madeleine PEYROUX – Bare Bones 2009

Jazz

The third album in four years from song interpreter extraordinaire Madeleine Peyroux, Bare Bones is both an extension of the currents of 2004’s Careless Love and 2006’s Half the Perfect World and a bold step into previously unexplored psychological terrain. Produced, like its two predecessors, by Larry Klein, this fluid and enthralling new work is Peyroux’s most personal yet, hardly surprising considering she had a hand in writing each of the 11 songs, marking the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.
**
Madeleine Peyroux’s brand new CD entitled “Bare Bones” displays her evolution as an artist. For the first time Madeleine doesn’t just sing on an album; she also wrote a lot of the material for this CD. Some will say that a singer who wants to write their own songs takes a mighty big risk, but actually Madeleine succeeds rather well at both singing and songwriting. Sure, Madeleine could have pushed the boundaries a bit more; but she is becoming an even better artist who can now write their own songs. Although Madeleine got help writing these songs from people including Walter Becker and Joe Henry, she did write “I Must Be Saved” independently. She even plays the acoustic guitar on this album! I’m impressed; Madeleine can do just about anything she wants to do. She completely throws herself into each ballad on this album; and you can tell it’s true with just one listen. The quality of the sound is excellent and that artwork is very nicely done.

The album starts with Madeleine singing “Instead;” she delivers this with panache and she never sounded better! “Instead” is not just a strong start for the album; it’s a highlight of the album as well. That music fits in perfectly with Madeleine’s vocals and it never steals the show away from her–great! “Instead” just couldn’t have been written any better. “Bare Bones,” the title track for this album, has a fantastic musical arrangement; and Madeleine sings this faultlessly. I really like “Bare Bones;” and listen also for “River of Tears.” “River of Tears” has a laid-back flavor to it even though those lyrics are not exactly the happiest, to be sure. Madeleine wears her heart on her sleeve when she sings “River of Tears” and it all holds its own very well.

“You Can’t Do Me” has some very interesting key modulations and Madeleine performs this without a superfluous note. “You Can’t Do Me” features Madeleine squarely in the spotlight and that’s definitely all right by me! Madeleine sings of a woman who won’t be hurt by the same man twice. “Love And Treachery” sports a very pretty melody matched up with some set of lyrics; and “Our Lady Of Pigalle” is about a woman of the night working in the Pigalle section of Paris. The guitar work in “Our Lady Of Pigalle” enhances the natural beauty of this ballad and I could never tire of hearing Madeleine Peyroux sing “Our Lady Of Pigalle.” What an awesome singer Madeleine truly is!

“To Love You All Over Again” has an incredible laid-back melody that charms me with its beauty; and Madeleine’s ability to deliver this so well makes this yet another major highlight of this CD. Madeleine’s excellent diction bolsters her performance all the more and I really like “To Love You All Over Again.” Songs like this one really showcase Madeleine’s exceptional gift to perform and write alongside the very best of them.

“I Must Be Saved” has some great percussion and Madeleine sings this with all her heart and soul; the music fits in perfectly with her singing, too. The CD even ends strong with Madeleine Peyroux performing “Somethin’ Grand.” “Somethin’ Grand” impresses me and the percussion and guitar are used to great advantage. The keyboard work is very strong and Madeleine leaves you wanting ELEVEN SONGS MORE!

Madeleine Peyroux obviously scores a goal with her brand new release entitled Bare Bones; and she’s well on her way to become an even greater force to be reckoned with. We’re very lucky that she chose to share her talents with us. This CD is a “must-have” for Madeleine’s fans; and people just getting to know her talents may want this album as a starter CD. In addition, people who like beautiful songs influenced by jazzy arrangements may well want this album, too.
By Matthew G. Sherwin.
**
Madeleine’s musical training came on the streets of Paris, where she started as a busker, then after a street-corner audition she got a gig singing with the Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz band, performing songs by artists such as Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Fats Waller.
Her previous albums Careless Love and Half the Perfect World sold over a million copies, earning critical-acclaim for her Jazz-Blues interpretations of works by artists such as Leonard Cohen and Edith Piath.
When she went “missing” in Britain while promoting her breakthrough album “Careless Love”, her record company couldn’t wait to tell the media.
How better to differentiate Maddie from the rest of the jazz-lite crew than by painting her as a wayward chanteuse? She hadn’t disappeared, of course. She’d simply become bored with the promo-circus and gone back to New York. And who could blame her?
But Madeleine didn’t need a vanishing act to raise her above her rivals. Her smoke-and-honey vocals, Billie Holiday phrasing, and breezily bohemian way with classy material had assured her fanbase.
They won’t be disappointed by her new release, “Bare Bones”, produced by Joni Mitchell’s ex, Larry Klein.
She has built a career on interpreting the works of other people.
Her sensitive, exquisite voice, reminiscent of the great jazz singers of our yesterdays has added her signature ‘postmodernist coolness’ (LA Times) and fresh brushstrokes to the work of artists including Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Hank Williams and Serge Gainsbourg.
“Bare Bones” is her 4th solo album and her third with Rounder Records.
It’s her most personal, intimate and almost confessional album: she had a hand in writing all the 11 tracks, including collaborations with producer Larry Klein, Walter Becker, Julian Coryell, Joe Henry, David Batteau and Sean Wayland : her intimate readings of original and contemporary love songs evoke emotions laid bare.
It’s a daring high-wire act for the 34-year-old singer who for the first time is working without the safety net of covering songs associated with her favourite musical acts, mostly from the past.
With “Bare Bones”, Maddie has crafted her best album yet, an artistic breakthrough that finds her sublime voice wrapped around a collection of soulful, silky late-night songs that she helped craft from their inception, marking her evolution as a songwriter. One song, “I Must Be Saved”, was written entirely by Peyroux.
While the surface of the songs she sings has an easy-listening quality, there are chasms of emotional turmoil lurking beneath.
She says the album builds from wariness, to loss, to acceptance, and finally to hope.
“I’m really happy that I got to write”, she adds, “It feels like a new segment, and it’s great work. I’m surrounded by beautiful sounds, really honest musicians, really honest playing”.
In fact, the musicianship is excellent: a small group of top notch artists underscore perfectly the languid and bluesy singing of the unusual diva: organist Larry Goldings, pianist Jim Beard, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, plus producer Klein on bass, his new wife, Brazilian Luciana Souza – who, by the way, is a guest on all Larry Klein produced albums – on bckgr vocals, Dean Parks on guitar, and Carla Kihlstedt on violin.
“It’s an exhilarating mixture of fear and self-confidence, in a way…And, obviously, because I am a very new writer, I’m kind of discovering myself by watching audiences’ takes on this stuff”.
She will always be a busker. Her bohemian upbringing ensures it. Her eschewing of the trappings of celebrity proves it.
And maybe this time around as well, sometimes soon she will vanish just to resurface some days later in another corner of her world.
By Hal St. Soul.
**
Madeleine Peyroux – Guitar (Acoustic), Vocals, Author
Carla Kihlstedt – Trumpet, Violin, Nyckelharpa, Soloist
Larry Klein – Bass, Percussion, Producer, Organ (Pump)
Dean Parks – Guitar (Acoustic), Clarinet, Mandolin, Pedal Steel, Guitar (Electric), Hi String Guitar
Larry Goldings – Organ, Organ (Hammond), Organ (Pump)
Vinnie Colaiuta – Percussion, Drums
Rebecca Pidgeon – Vocals (bckgr)
Luciana Souza – Vocals (bckgr)
**
01. Instead 5:13
02. Bare Bones 3:26
03. Damn the Circumstances 4:37
04. River of Tears 5:21
05. You Can’t Do Me 5:04
06. Love and Treachery 4:20
07. Our Lady of Pigalle 5:28
08. Homeless Happiness 3:59
09. To Love You All Over Again 3:59
10. I Must Be Saved 4:45
11. Somethin’ Grand 3:44
**


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4 Responses to “Madeleine PEYROUX – Bare Bones 2009”

  1. Monk,
    The link is dead! Pls repost if possible
    Tkx

  2. FIXED

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