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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Bigger" than Norah Jones?
Though not many agreed with me, I thought "Worrisome Heart" was the best disc of 2008, and one of the finest debut recordings in recent jazz history. I marvelled at Melody Gardot's heart and soul, and her ability to craft simultaneously simple and complex melodies.

But when someone starts off with something that good, then follows up with a sophomore release a...
Published on May 5, 2009 by Rick Cornell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars String Orchestra?????
I loved Melody's first two albums, The Bedroom Sessions and Worrisome Heart. Then I heard this one...and I just didn't get it. After researching her bio, I see what happened...she meets a 'big time' producer who talks her into violin orchestra "additives". IMO, strings have no business mixing with blues/jazz music. Strings transform original artists' work into...
Published 9 months ago by watergal425


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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Bigger" than Norah Jones?, May 5, 2009
This review is from: My One & Only Thrill (Audio CD)
Though not many agreed with me, I thought "Worrisome Heart" was the best disc of 2008, and one of the finest debut recordings in recent jazz history. I marvelled at Melody Gardot's heart and soul, and her ability to craft simultaneously simple and complex melodies.

But when someone starts off with something that good, then follows up with a sophomore release a year later, I worry. The last time I saw that happen was with Peter Cincotti, and the result wasn't good at all. I was worried: could the same thing happen to Melody Gardot?

Hints: the producer on this one is Larry Klein. The musical director is Kenneth Pendergrast. The strings were arranged and conducted by Vince Mendoza. The recording is mixed by Al Schmitt and mastered by Bernie Grundman. A "sophomore slump" is probably not possible with that lineup!

Though the disc sounds glorious, the glory enhances, rather than hides, the wonderful Melody Gardot. "Heart" was endearingly quirky; "Thrill" is lush.

"If the Stars Were Mine," track #2, is the catchy tune on this set, and for good measure she reprises it at set's end. And for good measure, Ms. Gardot does a French chanson, "Les Etoiles," that sandwiches the tune(s). These ought to be standards someday.

But they are far from the only delights on this album. Ms. Gardot displays a lot of heart and soul on the bluesy "Who Will Comfort Me" and "Your Heart is as Black as Night." And she swings whimsically on "Our Love Is Easy." The title track is haunting. And Melody Gardot wrote all of these songs. Except one:

There's one standard on this set, "Over the Rainbow." I counsel singers not to sing this song, since inviting comparisons to Judy Garland is generally a bad idea. But nothing in that counsel assumes a "country shuffle" version with a straightened out melody over the chord changes. This is the most anti-Garland version of the song ever - and I love it for that!

Recently, Jazz Times posited the question: could Melody Gardot end up as big as Norah Jones? Here's my answer: in a perfect world, bigger. In this world, let's just be thankful for her and pray that her health and her creativity stay with her for a long time, for our sake. This young artist is a gem. RC

p.s. -12/30/09: This and Jackie Ryan's "Doozy" are my favorite c.d.'s of 2009. Jazz Times agrees, in that their 3 top vocal jazz c.d.'s of 2009 are those two and Gretchen Parlato's "In a Dream." None of those 3 were nominated for a Grammy. Once again, "Boo!" to the N.A.R.A.! RC
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For relaxing after a stressful day or quiet moments alone, April 29, 2009
This review is from: My One And Only Thrill (MP3 Music)
Melody Gardot is an amazing artist, her voice is pure and filled with emotions. This selection of songs reminds me of listening to great live music in a New Orleans jazz club, where the room is cool, dark and seductive. Her back story on how she came to music is tragic, she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle. Music therapy was recommended as a way to rebuild her cognitive and physical abilities. Her first CD, Some Lessons - The Bedroom Sessions was a product of her therapy sessions.(By the way I also highly recommend that album which can be found at CD Baby.)

This CD is a magnificent change from overproduced vanilla pop. The songs that she wrote for this third album have a more sophisticated feel that won't alienate the listener. For those who said her previous album was simply one continuous song, I think you'll feel differently about My One and Only Thrill. Simply listen to her version of Over the Rainbow, Judy Garland made it sound hopeful, Eva Cassidy's rendition was wistful and Melody gives it Brazilian soul!! Melody's road to becoming a musician was painful and cruel but she shows how an artist can't be held back by physical or mental limitations. I'm looking forward to hearing more from this wonderful singer/songwriter.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heavenly thrill, December 8, 2009
By 
Patrick Krah„ "Patrick Krahe" (Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg (Europe)) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My One and Only Thrill (Audio CD)
Intimate songs, magnificent voice, I can recommend this to every music lover, Jazz-enthousiast or not. Very moving CD, and the extra songs are a real bonus
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't stop listening to this, December 6, 2009
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This review is from: My One and Only Thrill (Audio CD)
if the stars were mine . . .WOW . . .dazzling lyrics, dazzling, and the entire cd has such a soothing feel. just when you think you've heard every version of Over the Rainbow imaginable, here comes Melody Gardot, and a lovely version it is. I can imagine dancing to these tunes, very slowly, in a dimly lit ballroom, with cigarette girls mingling among the tables, which are empty, because everyone in the place is up, dancing slowly, in the dim light. Evocative and just simply lovely. It's not my one and only thrill, but it definitely thrills me. I look forward to hearing so, so much more from Melody Gardot. Fabulous.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GIVE THAT GAL A SPOTLIGHT !!!, May 4, 2009
By 
Matthew G. Sherwin (last seen screaming at Amazon customer service) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: My One & Only Thrill (Audio CD)
My One and Only Thrill is the newest album out from Melody Gardot. Melody sings unbelievably well; I'm extremely impressed. Indeed, Melody's voice is so special that it practically leaves me at a loss for words to describe it. She sings as beautifully if not more so than just about any songbird I've heard--ever. When she sings you really listen--and you listen closely, too, because she gives one heck of a performance! She infuses each song on this album with a great deal of emotion; just one listen proves it. She writes beautifully, too--these songs are lovingly and passionately crafted to become works of art--and then performed faultlessly. The quality of the sound on this CD is excellent; and I really like that artwork, too.

I'll list my favorite numbers here, although all the tracks stun me with their beauty.

"Baby I'm A Fool." - Melody sings this so very well. The lush, jazzy and bluesy musical arrangement uses the strings to great advantage but wisely the music never steals the show away from Melody--her vocals remain front and center. Her voice is as clear as a bell, too.

"If The Stars Were Mine" -- This gets a somewhat spirited treatment; and this chanteuse never skips a beat as she does this one up right!

"Who Will Comfort Me" -- Great percussion enhances this tune--beyond perfection.

"Your Heart Is As Black As Night" -- This uses the piano well as Melody delivers this with panache; I could never tire of hearing Melody sing this ballad. The jazz and blues mixture makes this a stand-out.

"Our Love Is Easy" -- This has another very lush musical arrangement. Melody handles the tempo and key changes as effortlessly as if it were all mere breathing--but of course we know it really wasn't all that easy. Melody's talent carries her through.

"Les Etoiles" -- Another gem. Melody sings this flawlessly. The drums work well for the musical arrangement and this somewhat Brazilian sounding ballad gets the royal treatment from Melody Gardot. Terrific!

"The Rain" - A powerful ballad--just like the others, Melody was born to sing songs like this one.

"Over The Rainbow" - Judy would be proud. This Brazilian flavored rendition never lets us down--but then again, after all, what can't Melody do? Nice musical special effects, guitar work and use of the drums, too.

In addition, there should be an extra bonus track which is an orchestral version of "If The Stars Were Mine." Check with Amazon to make sure you'll get this bonus track before ordering as the track list on this webpage doesn't mention it.

So here's my final word--run, don't walk--to get this album! Melody is fast becoming a talent that will never be forgotten. This CD is great for her fans; and it also makes a fine starter CD for people just discovering her incredible artistry.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hard Rock Fan's New Love, January 1, 2010
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This review is from: My One & Only Thrill (Audio CD)
This 24-year old soulful jazz singer/songwriter from Philly shines on her second studio album. My One & Only Thrill includes dark, piano ballads, as well as finger-snapping smooth jazz songs with the occasional scat vocals.

I first heard this album at work and brushed it off. After all, I'm into metal, hardcore, and other styles of heavy rock music, so the soft sounds of Ms. Gardot didn't take well to my ears. However, after hearing it a few times, the melodies began to stick in my head, the lyrics began to impact my thought, and Melody's voice began to penetrate my soul.

"Your Heart Is A Black As Night," a stand-out track, sounds like it was taken directly from the 40's, with the classic horns and stand-up bass arrangement. "Our Love Is Easy" is a dramatic-sounding soft-ballad that reaches the soul and never lets up. Ironically though, there is no climax to the song. It's simply so good that a peak is not needed. Gardot's voice is soft, yet powerful as she croons the dangerously poetic lyrics "They say the poisoned vine, breeds a finer wine." It doesn't end there though, with the lead single "Baby I'm A Fool" presenting the lyrics, "Baby I'm A Fool who thinks it's cool to fall in love," which seem so obvious and easy, yet they haven't been written until now. Gardot also manages to take the classic "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," a song I always hated, and make it sound incredible.

One of the great things about Gardot is also the fact that she can and does SING her songs. With Johnny Cash-esque trail-offs and vibrato that would make Tony Bennett proud, it is clear that there is no "auto-tune" on this record. Also interesting to note is that she writes her own songs and plays both piano and guitar on them (a rarity these days).

With haunting lyrics, beautiful melodies, and skillful instrumentation, My One & Only Thrill is truly an album that pays homage to classic jazz sounds while still remaining ahead of it's time and one of 2009's best releases.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful..., June 17, 2009
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I buy a lot of music. Music of all kinds, all genres, all types,but this is hands down one of the best, most beautiful albums I have purchased in a long time. One reviewer mentioned the quality of the recording. He or She is right, the quality is a bit lacking. Don't let that stop you from buying this CD. In fact, if you have money for only one CD for the next year or so, get this one. The title song is haunting, beautiful...how many adjectives can you use? Definitely worth the money. Her first was really good. This one is much better.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thrilling Introduction (for Those Not Already In the Know), May 3, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My One & Only Thrill (Audio CD)
Melody Gardot is benefitting from a big marketing push right now. I saw the magazine ads and then Amazon hit me with the special price on the MP3 album. Good deal! MY ONE AND ONLY THRILL offered a great soundtrack for a rainy indoor New York City Sunday afternoon, ("Our love is easy like water rushing over stone..." "The rain came down in sheets that night...") I'm not a jazz aficionado (cannot legitimately participate in a discussion of Davis or Coltrane. A reference point: Sinatra's "In The Wee Small Hours" album gets more play in my iPod than anything by Norah Jones), But the strings that kick off "Baby I'm a Fool" grabbed my ear and Gardot's sultry vocals held my attention with catchy lyrics and scat singing. The songs (except for "Over the Rainbow") are all Gardot originals. But if you told me this was a cover album of jazz classics I would have simply nodded and enjoyed. The laughter at the end of "Who Will Comfort Me" also brought a smile. Gardot's personal story is an inspiration of a separate kind. She's overcome adversity to make great music, but her success is based on real musical talent and genuine songwriting skills. Having heard the album, I'll be paying full price for past and future releases.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Performance, May 9, 2009
This review is from: My One & Only Thrill (Audio CD)
In over 50 years of listening and collecting recorded music, the number of albums I have heard that consist entirely of memorable music I can count on one hand. Now I can add Melody Gardot's extraordinary new CD My One and Only Thrill. Here are 10 new songs of her own composition (with help on 2 by Jesse Harris) and one standard, Over the Rainbow. These are songs of love - the joy of love so intense it evokes the fear of losing it, and the loss of love softened by the remembrance of its joy. Each is sung in Melody's rich voice with an intensity of feeling that brings the lyrics to their full emotional life. The arrangements are beautifully creating and flawlessly executed. It's frankly difficult to single out any one or two songs for special mention. Each is wonderful in its own right. No two are alike. The only minor occasional detracting element is the string arrangements by Vince Mendoza, which most of the time blend beautifully but sometimes become 1950ish saccharin at inappropriate times. That's not a serious enough flaw to make this CD anything less that remarkable. After all, nothing is perfect. I have to call this my favorite CD in about the last 10 years.

Update (May 29)- I've now been listening to this CD virtually non-stop for several weeks. I'm even more impressed with the richness and the genuine powerful emotion of the songs. I still haven't tired of any of them after at least 100 listenings. The lyrics are wonderful poetry and the music perfectly fresh and complementary. Just remarkable. I've also listened to Worrisome Heart a couple more times. It's very good but not nearly in the class of My One and Only Thrill. Everyone I know who has heard it has been blown away.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read any more reviews ... just buy it NOW!, December 15, 2009
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This review is from: My One & Only Thrill (Audio CD)
OK, if you still need convincing ... This is turning out to be one of my all time favourite albums. I have listened to it countless times and it always remains achingly poingnant, exquisitely sentimental and deeply moving. I loved and still love Worrisome Heart and wondered how Melody Gardot could possibly get better than on that album, but this album goes deeper, is more intimate and personal. There are almost no distracting backing vocalists (except on the manificently sassy blues number 'Who will comfort me'), just Melody's smoky cool voice and thoughtful and sensitive instrumental accompaniment. Favourite tracks for me are Baby I'm a Fool, Lover Undercover and Our Love is Easy, but it's all good from start to finish. I can't wait for Ms Gardot's next album, sure to be another stunner!
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My One & Only Thrill
My One & Only Thrill by Melody Gardot (Audio CD - 2009)
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