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Madeleine Peyroux: Careless Love

How ironic that the one original track on Madeleine Peyroux’s Careless Love is titled “Don’t Wait Too Long” (cowritten with frequent Norah Jones collaborator Jesse Harris). After all, fans (and I place myself at the top of the list) have been waiting nearly a decade for the Georgia-born, Paris-raised Peyroux (sounds like “Peru”) to release a follow-up to her 1996 breakthrough Dreamland. Still sounding eerily like Billie Holiday (though stylistically much closer to Jones or Patricia Barber), Peyroux, backed by four of the best in the business-bassist David Piltch, pianist/organist Larry Goldings, guitarist Dean Parks and drummer/percussionist Jay Bellerose-offers up stunning covers of Bob Dylan (“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”), Hank Williams (“Weary Blues”), Leonard Cohen (“Dance Me to the End of Love”) and Elliott Smith (“Between the Bars”), and takes a trip down “Lonesome Road” that is as evocative as it is serpentine. One of 2004’s superlative vocal releases, Careless Love is a flawless achievement that leaves us hoping-no, begging-that Peyroux doesn’t wait another eight years to venture back into the studio.

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