Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Hey You, Peyroux | While paging through last week's City Paper, I came across a brief but encouraging note that the beguiling vocalist Madeleine Peyroux, whose face had begun showing up on milk cartons, has been playing some dates at Philadelphia's Tin Angel and is working on a new record. Peyroux's debut (and her only full-length album to date), 1996's Dreamland, was a remarkably mature and accomplished collection of covers and original stuff, considering she was in her early 20s at the time. Her sound channels Billie Holiday, a lazy yet not inaccurate comparison, and it's anybody's guess why Peyroux didn't use Dreamland as a sprinboard to It Singer status. As CP noted, "It's not clear why her star-is-born career trajectory took a dive, but in the days before Norah Jones, Peyroux's retro stylings didn't make much of a dent on the charts, despite the 200,000 copies sold."

Now, I'm still not sold on the whole Jones phenomenon. She's a perfectly nice singer, but the languorous quality of her songs just hasn't grabbed me as it has millions of others. Peyroux, though, injects her treatment of standards with an infectious and winning sprightliness. I'm tremendously glad to hear she's working again and look forward to hearing her new record.


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