Nothing left to prove
That Leonard Cohen is still offering inspiration should come as no great surprise. Dubbing her album Anthem after a song by the Canadian singer, Madeleine Peyroux shows us her hand from the off.
Perhaps it's her desire to get shot of the ghost of Billie Holiday to whom she has often been compared… But in 2018, Madeline Peyroux is very much Madeleine Peyroux! Style, voice, writing, she has mastered every part of her art and has nothing left to prove. This time, she leaves covers behind and offers new songs, written or co-written with Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen), Brian MacLeod (Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner), David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow) and producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin, Herbie Hancock). The lyrics are often politically-engaged, and she sets them lovingly to soft-to-downright-melancholy music.
The overall effect is one of weightlessness. The arrangements and the production have a velvety feel, and while she takes on Paul Eluard's powerful poem Liberté, she does it with a delicate touch that renders the words even stronger. As is often the case with Peyroux, the boundaries between jazz, pop, soul, blues and folk are savvily blurred together. This makes for a great showcase for her voice, one of the most addictive of her generation.
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