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Half the Perfect World

Madeleine PeyrouxAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

Price: $17.11 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2010 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2006 $17.11  
Vinyl, 2008 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I'm All Right 3:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Summer Wind 3:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Blue Alert 4:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Everybody's Talkin' 5:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. River 5:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. A Little Bit 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Once In A While 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. (Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Half The Perfect World 4:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. La Javanaise 4:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. California Rain 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Smile 3:57$1.29  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Madeleine Peyroux Store


Image of album by Madeleine Peyroux


Image of Madeleine Peyroux


Madeleine Peyroux Speaks About The Blue Room


“The only thing that matters is the song,” says singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux. That conviction along with a ‘one of a kind’ voice, has carried the Jazz artist from busking on the streets of Paris, all the way to mainstream recognition.
Through intensely distinctive renditions of old classics and modern tunes by the likes of Leonard Cohen and The Beatles, ... Read more in Amazon's Madeleine Peyroux Store

Visit Amazon's Madeleine Peyroux Store
for 17 albums, 30 photos, 3 videos, discussions, and more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Half the Perfect World + Careless Love + Dreamland
Price for all three: $41.52

Buy the selected items together
  • Careless Love $14.43
  • Dreamland $9.98

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 12, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B000GFLE86
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,137 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Madeleine Peyroux doesn't simply interpret songs, she possesses them and vice versa. Half the Perfect World is the much-anticipated follow-up to Peyroux's breakthrough album, Careless Love, which drew critical raves from around the world and sold more than a million copies. This time around, Peyroux focuses primarily on songs written by artists from her lifetime, including Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Fred Neil. The album also features an unforgettable duet with k.d. lang on the Joni Mitchell classic "River" and four original songs co-written by Peyroux, including the single "I'm All Right" which she penned with producer Larry Klein and Steely Dan's Walter Becker. Half the Perfect World is a sublime showcase for Peyroux's eloquent, understated delivery and timeless one-of-a-kind voice.

Smokey-voiced chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux's third CD is a lovely collection of after-hours ruminations and should confirm her rise to fame. Credit producer Larry Klein for doing a bang-up job with the album's sound: the elegant, pared-down arrangements are all brushed drums, acoustic guitars, and cool organ licks. But of course it's Peyroux's voice that brings it all home--preferably one where the shades are drawn, embers are smoldering in the fireplace, and the white wine is kept dry. Two-thirds of the songs are well-chosen covers, including a duet with k.d. lang on Joni Mitchell's "River"; a relaxed version of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'," from Midnight Cowboy; a delicately lilting samba take on Leonard Cohen and Anjani Thomas's title track; Serge Gainsbourg's "La Javanaise," performed in the original French; and Charlie Chaplin's "Smile," from Modern Times. The four originals, all coauthored by Peyroux, easily keep up with such august company, especially "I'm All Right"--written with Klein and Walter Becker, it captures the easy sophistication of Becker's regular band, Steely Dan. Fans of Norah Jones (whose collaborator Jesse Harris cowrote three of the songs) should gobble up this album, but Peyroux is no mere imitator: She's her own, very real thing. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

More Madeleine


Careless Love

Got You on My Mind

(with William Galison)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It has charms December 11, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The eagerly awaited follow-up album to the enigmatic singer's phenomenally successful "Careless Love" may not be as beguiling, but it has charms of its own - not least the upbeat, laughter-filled opener, "I'm All Right" (an original composition), Serge Gainsbourg's "La Javanaise" and Leonard Cohen's sensual "Blue Alert".
There is a stronger country vibe and, if anything, the lackadaisical Billie Holiday drawl is even more in evidence than in the first CD.
And if ever a song suited the persona of the singer, it's "Everybody's Talkin".
When beauty is understated...
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuine talent with an old fashioned charm November 10, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Madeleine Peyroux comes across as an artist older than her years.

Even though she is only in her early 30's, her music and voice sound like they belong to the previous generation.

The fact that Peyroux's voice absolutely reeked of her Billie Holiday influences somewhat tarnished that breakthrough album "Careless Love".

For her new album, "Half The Perfect World", she showcases the emotional core of songs by other singers and songwriters she's admired, and also displays her talents as a writer on four songs she co-wrote, keeping a distinctly romantic edge.

The CD is slightly less heavy on the Holiday-isms but more intriguing in the song selection.

For Peyroux tackles the love songs she loves, treating them to timelessly jazzy readings.

Given the makeover are Johnny Mercer's "The Summer Wind", Leonard Cohen's "Blue Alert", Joni Mitchell's "River", Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'", Tom Waits's "(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night", Serge Gainsburg's "La Javanaise" and Charlie Chaplin's "Smile".

The album conjures in the mind imagery of smoky bars, music lifted from the screen of an American feelgood movie. Drums are always light brushes, barely touching the skins, guitars light and fruity, clearly a double bass rather than an electric.

No cutting edges are approached, no taboos challenged, but it is a pleasant amble through familiar territory.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STRANGE FRUIT. October 28, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Madeleine Peyroux's occasionally acidic voice has drawn comparisons to Billie Holiday, which, while not entirely amiss, tended to overlook a singular facet of Holiday's style: When Holiday sounded like she was keeping something from you, it was because it hurt too much to be expressed. Peyroux's floating, Georgian-inflected alto, though similarly enigmatic (a "Mona Lisa voice," wrote New York Times cabaret critic Stephen Holden), seems to barely conceal excessive happiness.

Take Half the Perfect World's opening track, "I'm All Right". She's dating a lout, who "makes her cry", and who "threw a few of my things around", but it's all right, because she's been lonely before.

She sings it with resignation, but where Holiday, for all her strength, would've made you feel pity, Peyroux impresses you with her resilience. Consider it the postfeminist style of female jazz vocalism.

With its chunk-chunk guitar, brushed drums and B3 organ, the stage is set for Peyroux to lay down a soft-focus album--and she does. The title track, by Leonard Cohen, is turned into a soft samba, and Joni Mitchell's "River" is sung with k.d. lang, who doesn't steal the spotlight.

In a world clogged with mediocre jazz chanteuses--with the dreaded Norah Jones at the front of the line--Peyroux's soul and melting voice stand out, way out, from the pack. She remains a happy enigma.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New Peyroux December 10, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I remain devoted to her previous album, Careless Love. This new effort is okay, but so slavishly faithful to that Peyrouvian sound that at the start of each of the first two songs I literally had to go back and check to be sure I wasn't listening to the first album. It varies somewhat after that, although you sure couldn't accuse it of taking any chances.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too bad Madeleine. November 13, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I loved '' careless love`` and saw Madeleine live here in Rio de Janeiro in a reasonably good show.I am quite disappointed with this album however because I had great expectations.Let's face it folks, however smoky and billiesque her voice is she is never going to have the power and the range of the original.She needs to be really close miked and well recorded to get that voice to sound right.This is obvious from seeing her live.

So what were those marketing executives thinking by promoting a cd full of soft and slow ballad covers that are obviously going to turn a huge spotlight on her vocal delivery? Those songs need an Ella,a Sarah Vaughn,or even a Shirley Horn -to name some giants- to have a chance of pulling it off with their huge range, timing and phrasing.

To compound the problem , the recording engineers/producers did not do a great job on her voice or the rest of the band for that matter.Everything is much too soft and distant (unlike careless love).If you want an atmospheric but still powerful sound you must produce something like the last Shirley Horn cds.

Last but not least the rest of the good band are not allowed to play anything remotely interesting but are relegated to very minimalist backing chores.

I think there is a misconception with the record excecs that M.P. has the qualities to make her a modern pop-jazz diva ala Diana Krall.She has to find her real voice and the correct material to match.Good luck.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a real pleasure
Published 7 days ago by S. Maddox
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 11 days ago by md bahar
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
expected more regonizable songs
Published 27 days ago by Glenda Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Yep!
Published 1 month ago by GLC
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous melodic music.
love this melodic tunes. great for relaxing.
Published 1 month ago by Honestbuyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Half The Perfect World- Quite Good
The first Madeleine Peyroux CD that I purchased was Careless Love. I loved it so much I decided to find another CD by her to add to my collection. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Big Miles Davis Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Very relaxing
I heard her music (the song La Javanaise) on Pandora and liked it so much that I decided to get this album.

It is very relaxing. Read more
Published 9 months ago by FuniBuni
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
Sorry Madeleine, but even your 'live' performances practically put me to sleep. This older CD wasn't any different. Read more
Published 10 months ago by La Mirada Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good background music to relax by.
I like her choice of songs. This is more of what I had expected and her sounding like Billie Holiday is a plus.
Published 18 months ago by lovehollywood
4.0 out of 5 stars Half the Perfect World
Fantastic CD by Madelaine. She has this mellow voice that is easy to listen to.
Excelent when one has gusts in the house.
Published 20 months ago by Maria Kanas
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