Having proven several times over that she’s among the premier vocal jazz singers on the planet with Half the Perfect World and Careless Love—both available as edition 180-gram LPs from Mobile Fidelity—Madeleine Peyroux makes her mark as a songwriter on the exquisite Bare Bones, her first album of originals. A thematic record that begins with wariness, moves to loss, builds to acceptance, and finishes with hope, the critically acclaimed set is Peyroux’s most soul-baring effort.
Deeply personal and eminently mature, the chanteuse strips everything down, from her emotional guard to the arrangements. Peyroux penned many of the songs with longtime producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell), and also co-wrote the standout “You Can’t Do Me” with Steely Dan legend Walter Becker. As expected, a tart wittiness defines the lyrics, demonstrating Peyroux’s continual growth as an artist. Becker’s contributions also spice the title track, while noted tunesmiths Joe Henry and Julian Coryell assist on other songs.
Half-speed mastered from the original analog tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s 180-gram 2-LP set enhances the experiences of hearing Peyroux’s languorous gems. Transparent, airy, three dimensional, fully textured, and featuring extended response from the acoustic bass and guitars, this analog pressing puts you in the middle of a coffeehouse, with Peyroux and her small ensemble seated a few feet in front of you. It’s that good.
Madeleine Peyroux Bare Bones Track Listing:
2. “Bare Bones”
3. “Damn the Circumstances”
4. “River of Tears”
5. “You Can’t do Me”
6. “Love and Treachery”
7. “Our Lady of Pigalle”
8. “Homeless Happiness”
9. “To Love You All Over Again”
10. “I Must Be Saved”
11. “Somethin’ Grand”