Careless Love

Madeleine Peyroux. <i>Rounder</i>

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On her first solo album in eight years, this chanteuse still has the easy lilt that inspires favorable comparisons to Billie Holiday. A Georgia peach, she paid her dues singing on the streets of Paris and delivers her songs without fancy artifice. Fronting a small combo, Peyroux turns Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” into an elegant shuffle and reinvents Hank Williams’ honky-tonk classic “Weary Blues” as a delicate meditation on longing. From a tender version of Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” to the playful original “Don’t Wait Too Long,” she regards heartbreak in the blues tradition. Her voice is freighted with melancholy—but not a hint of self-pity.

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