Few recordings have been as intensely anticipated as the sophomore release by Madeleine Peyroux. Taking the music world by complete surprise back in '96 with her startling debut, Dreamland
, Peyroux performed the ultimate "where's Waldo" and disappeared from the recording scene for eight years. Rounder deserves credit for resurrecting this artist's career.
So how does Peyroux fare following an eight-year hiatus? Pretty darned well, her voice still golden after all these years. There's still the hint of Billie Holiday with the touch of twinkling mischief in her eye. Completely at ease in this collection of laid back swing, Peyroux glides through a series of songs not normally associated with small group caberets (Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" and Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go"), yet she makes it work, and work well.
With the vast majority of songs concerning difficult relationships and heartache, gone is the insouciant optimism of her debut. She's been taught a few lessons. Her mood is less effervescent (the most upbeat song is "Lonesome Road"). However, this is the sign of a true artist. She is taking us on a journey. With first class and diverse support by keyboardist Larry Goldings and sensitive brushwork by Scott Amendola, the trip is worthwhile.
Personnel: Madeleine Peyroux- vocals, guitar; Scott Amendola, Jay Bellerose- percussion;
Larry Goldings- piano, organ; Dean Parks- guitar; David Piltch- bass