Ever since Madeleine Peyroux exploded onto the scene in 2004, the comparisons to Billie Holiday have been nonstop. There’s no denying the similarity, or the tear that is ever-present in her voice. As was frequently the case with Holiday, Peyroux’s vocal style has often led to wrongful perception of her as a tragedian. She can play woe-begotten to perfection, here best demonstrated with her soul-crushing descent into Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain.” But her emotional range fully extends from downtrodden (a wearily pensive treatment of Dylan’s “I Threw It All Away”) to downright dreamy (the gentle lullaby “Lay Your Sleeping Head My Love,” adapted from an Auden poem).
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