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Madeline Peyroux, a retrospective

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Madeline Peyroux recently toured through her Native Brooklyn. Her career has now spanned decades, from her street minstrel days in Paris to her stunning debut in 1996 and through several albums. She may channel jazz and pop greats, but she is a force of her own.

Dreamland (1996)
Ms. Peyroux's first album, Dreamland has strong routes in her minstrel days, with fresh-strumming guitar accompaniment and a clean, uncluttered sound. She tips her hat to her teenage years in Paris with a rich, accordian-accompanied “La Vie En Rose”. Ms. Peyroux showed off her songwriting skills with the folk-Jazz “Always a Use”. The title-song, “Dreamland” has a modern indie-rock vibe off which her silky voice bounces effortlessly.

Careless Love (2004)
Six years elapsed before her next album, Careless Love. The wait was well worth it, rewarding fans with a spice-infused rendition of “Dance Me to the End of Love”. Her original “Don't Wait Too Long”, is easy-swing that will carry your feet to the floor. In this album, her musical flexibility came to the fore.

Bare Bones (2009)
Having established herself as a modern-jazz poetess, Miss Peyroux laid it on the line with Bare Bones, composing every track herself and in tandem with co-writers. The collection is as real and intimate as her interpretations of other's music, taking introspective and unexpected turns in subject and music. “Damn the Circumstances” shows the evolution of her jazz and soul-infused style.

Standing On the Rooftop (2011)
Standing On The Rooftop combines interpretations of other's work with stellar pieces of her own. With “The Kind You Can't Afford”, she even delves into a rap-style lyric mixed with a jazz-blues accompaniment and bridge. In one moment, she surprises by channeling Ani-DiFranco, unexpected but beautiful.

The Blue Room (2012)
Originally inspired by Ray Charles' Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Ms. Peyroux's latest album took its own path. The album as a whole, though, does not have the same power as her other albums. Her rendition of Leonard Cohen's “Bird on a Wire” is the star of the album. The opening is reminiscent of Copeland, and the return of her smoky sound was a welcome change from the rest of the album.

Although her most recent album is not as musically innovative as her others, Madeline Peyroux surely has a grand career ahead of her. Her fans eagerly await her next album and her return to her hometown NYC.

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