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3.6 out of 5 stars
Standing On The Rooftop
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2011
Simply put, this is her best since "Careless Love."
She makes the three covers (McCartney's "Martha, My Dear," Dylan's "I Threw It All Away" and Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain") her own, and her own originals are great.
Instrumentally, this is an earthier, rootsier (is that a word?) CD than her previous CDs.
There's a couple of times when I flash on Bonnie Raitt's music, circa "Nick Of Time," but I can't exactly say why.
Her vocals are as good -if not better- than anything she's done previously.
The whole thing is brimming with realized talent and self-confidence.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
This is a wonderful CD release by the jazz musician/composer Madeleine Peyroux, titled 'Standing On The Rooftop'. In this new CD (12 tracks) Madeleine Peyroux collaborates/song co-writing with Rolling Stones' Bill Wyman. The result is great jazz music, hopefully to make her prominent as if standing onto the rooftop. She has tour dates lined up for US & Europe to support this CD release. Stand-outs/gems/solid tracks include "I Threw It All Away" (wonderful guitar solo & melody), "Don't Pick A Fight With A Poet" & "Ophelia" (a slow track with a beautiful piano/guitar combination & melody). Great tracks include "Martha, My Dear" (great guitar/banjo combination & vocals), "The Kind You Can't Afford" (great guitar & vocals), "Fickle Dove" (great piano & vocals), "Lay You Sleeping Head, My Love" (a slow track with great melody, vocals & guitar), "Standing On The Rooftop" ('rough' guitar sound. This is the title track for this CD), "Love In Vain" (great violin/orchestral sound & vocals), "Meet Me In Rio" (great guitar solo & vocals) & "The Way Of All Things" (great harmonies, bass, melody & vocals). Okay track is "The Things I've Seen Today". On overall, this is a wonderful CD release (with collaboration with rocker Bill Wyman) by Madeleine Peyroux, a highly recommended CD listening.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2011
Whether you're a fan of Peyroux or not, you might not take easily to this album. The phrasing, the rhythms, it's all very different. The mix is done in the T-Bone Burnett style but doesn't quite come together as well as when T-Bone does it.

It's a set of relatively simple performances and they might row on you. but whether you're a fan or not to begin with, you'll probalby want to sample the material before you buy.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I've been a fan of Madeleine Peyroux since I bought her first CD when it first came out. "Dreamland," still seems fresh, as does "Careless Love" and "Half the Perfect World." This CD, however, seems "phoned in," with little real investment. Of course, I'm probably wrong; I'm sure she almost certainly gives 100% to all of her efforts. In this case, like Diana Krall's "Girl in the Other Room," it seems Madeleine Peyroux has chosen to step away from jazz and give pop music a try; but whereas Krall changed her whole approach for that CD, Peyroux's voice seems like it's on automatic. She keeps her "retro" jazz intonations regardless of what the music calls for. In the end, this seems like a vocal version of the kind mundane affair we hear in Pat Metheny's "What's It All About," in which he seems to have run out of ideas and resorts to 1960s trivia. All this to say what your mother probably told you: It's dangerous in the middle of the road.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 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 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 some 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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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2011
Sorry, I'm a real Madeleine Peyroux fan, but this album just doesn't do it for me. It's a different style, discordant; bring back the real Madeline!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2011
I have her "Careless Love", "Bare Bones" and "Dreamland" on MP3. Her Bessie Smith and Edith Piaf voices are sung with humor and dignity. When I saw her vinyl "Standing on the Rooftop" I snapped it up with One Click. Not that I regret my purchase but her other musical offerings are more polished than Rooftop. The sound is supreme though not as powerful or bluesy.

On some tracks her voice shakes a bit and I get the feeling of her being near and vulnerable. When I close my eyes her voice feels so close as if she is standing right in front of me. Yes, it is a double album which means getting up out of my chair 3 times but her presence never fades.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2011
Standing on the Rooftop just does not do the job for me. I think the album is experimental, and it is always a good thing to reach out of your boundaries creatively. I believe this is what Madeleine Peyroux does here, but alas she just doesn't thrill me like her other albumes have. Also the mix could be better.
All in all this album was a disappointment to me. But normally as I said I love her work so if anyone reads this review, please try listening to some of her other albums. I know you will love them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2013
...but I can well understand that not everybody does. She is a singer that you either take-to or you don't and that's OK. My first exposure to her was "Careless Love" (full disclosure: the barefoot cover photo caught my eye) about eight years ago and I fell in love. She and Carly Simon are the only two artists that can get me to Barnes and Noble on new release day.

In the present offering, Madeline is back to the bare feet but the voice and presentation remain uniquely and consistently her. She has given us The Beatles ("Martha My Dear"), Bob Dylan ("I Threw It All Away"), and the grandmaster Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain" mixed with some very good new material. But it's all Madeline and you either like that or you don't.

Sometimes I will promise that a reader will like an album but I'd be an idiot if I did that here. If you are like me you already are in love and have all the records anyway. If you're curious, try "Careless Love"...it's the closest to Classic Jazz and is still probably the easiest of her disks to find.

Madeleine Peyroux is a singer that does NOT appeal to all tastes...I like her but whether you do is your call....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Sorry to say, but this CD leaves me totally cold. I have been a fan of Ms.Peyroux ever since I heard "Careless Love" so I bought this MP3 without listening to the samples. Big mistake.

I am all for experimentation, (see my review of Diana Krall's "Glad Rag Doll") but not all experiments work. The songs lack focus and some of the instrumentation is downright annoying. I love music that has a hook you can hang your hat on, or jazz albums which feature masters of improvisation jamming their way over, under around and through a song.

"Standing On The Rooftop" is unfortunately neither of these. I don't know what Madeleine was hoping to accomplish here but this is one of the most inaccessible CDs I have ever heard. I'm listening to it as I type this and it's all I can do to maintain my focus; my thoughts are tending to scatter as wide as the music.

I really hope she returns to what she does best next time out and gifts us with more stellar jazz-inflected vocals as only she can.

Come back Madeleine we miss you.
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