Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Melody Gardot AllGigs 4 out 5 Review

"I keep saying it - the best new music sounds like old music - old is the new new - and Philadelphia-born Melody Gardot's second album My One and Only Thrill is a perfect example. Sophisticated, evocative of a glorious period of quality and poise, this album is as light and delicate and as welcome as a warming, bright Spring morning.

The opening Baby I'm A Fool is a torch song blessed with sumptuous string orchestration draped around Gardot's delicate vocal, intimately suggesting there is no-one in the world but she and you, talking to you alone, confidentially, with perfect, clear diction, her voice way more mature than her 20-something years. If the Stars Were Mine, in spirit if not in specifics, is close family to Tom Jobim's Corcovado, its lazy feel and carioca guitar comfortably at-home on Ipanema's Rua Vinicius de Morais, the birthplace of bossa nova. Who Will Comfort Me develops from slow beginnings into a cool and hot swinging blues, the band's individual and ensemble playing stellar. Your Heart Is As Black As The Night is the yellowed, well-thumbed pages of a Raymond Chandler pulp thriller come to life in a sleazy wrong-side-of-the-tracks clip joint that you've wandered into and don't expect to leave alive. With half-closed eyes, the beautifully restrained Our Love Is Easy is somehow reminiscent of a dreamy vaguely-remembered late-1950s movie and Les Etoiles is a thrilling Blue Note bohemian jazzy night looking skywards outside Le Caveau de la Huchette in the Latin Quarter of Paris. A brooding atmospheric piece of late-night stillness, The Rain, is wrapped in a blissful Eric Satie tranquility, whilst the title track My One and Only Thrill can only come from the heart of someone truly sick and dizzy with love. The token commercial track here is the perennial Over the Rainbow, given a Hispanic make-over for easy assimilation - it will be all over the airwaves before you can say "a star is born."

If comparisons must be drawn to Gardot's smooth and seemingly effortless vocal, no current artist makes the cut and it's the classy, sad voices of Julie London and Peggy Lee that echo through the years. The vocal-to-instrumentation audio dynamic is perfect throughout, a testament to the subtle talent of producer Larry Klein. This album is an absolute triumph."

Read the full review on All Gigs here