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Half The Perfect World CD
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Half The Perfect World
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Top Customer Reviews
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...
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When the first, but Komu heard did not think a good
I think that it is a very good album.
Do I enjoy now.
This is the first cd that I had of miss Peryroux. There are so many good songs on this cd that it is my favorite.Published 17 months ago by ranger one