Madeleine Peyroux ‘Bare Bones’ (Rounder) 4/5

madeleine-peyrouxFollowing on from ‘Half the prefect world’, released some two years ago, Madeleine Peyroux returns to form with a melancholic yet gently uplifting album and one that showcases her excellent songwriting talents. One again production chores are down to regular band member Larry Klein who first came on board with the second album. The opener ‘Instead’ is an obvious candidate for a single and the pared down instrumentation sets the scene for the album as whole which borders on old-time jazz, blues and folk among other influences. One again keyboardist Larry Golding excels, particularly on the blues-inflected hues of the title track, one of the album’s most immediate songs. Highlighting the variety of songs on offer is the mid-tempo ‘To love you all over again’, which could easily have been penned during the early 1970s folk-rock boom. Ballads are equally in evidence and ‘Love and treachery’ works most effectively with a lovely wurlitzer piano solo. The extraordinary musical career of Madeleine Peyroux, which has taken in busking on the streets of Paris, now seems on a more conventional trajectory and this latest offering will appeal to a wide audience beyond the confines of jazz and to all fans of quality Americana.

Tim Stenhouse