Madeleine Peyroux Careless Love

Some eight years after her debut record wowed audiences worldwide, American-born Parisian chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux has finally recorded her sophomore album. At the time of her 1996 album, Dreamland, critics were quick to compare her vocal ability to that of the late Billie Holiday. It’s a tough thing to become pigeonholed into sounding like one of the most revered female singers of all-time, something that undoubtedly has both worked for and against Peyroux (pronounced Peru). But, with the surprise success of Norah Jones in the past few years, Rounder has hooked Peyroux up with Jones collaborator Jesse Harris and had Joni Mitchell producer Larry Klein sit behind the board. The end results definitely meet the targets set for the album, it is a wonderful collection of songs that vary from covers of Bessie Smith, Hank Williams and Leonard Cohen songs intermixed with originals, but its hard to say if it’s something all that necessary. The record is so smoothly executed that it feels a little too comfortable. Like Jones, it takes smoky vocal jazz and makes it pop music, something that’s more disposable and marketable than it deserves. If you like this kind of thing, you’ll love this. The only thing is you probably don’t read this publication. (Rounder)