Half the Perfect World

Half the Perfect World

by Madeleine PeyrouxMadeleine Peyroux


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Considering that Madeleine Peyroux took eight years between her debut Dreamland and its successor, 2004's breakthrough Careless Love, Half the Perfect World qualifies as a speedy follow-up. But that's the only thing speedy about it: Peyroux is a master of the languid, slow-and-easy ballad, of singing at just the right point behind the beat -- even if that point is unexpectedly far, as on her introspective version of "Everybody's Talkin'." Although it reconvenes much of the crew behind her last album, Half the Perfect World is not simply More Careless Love. Instead of anchoring the album in the past (aside from the Johnny Mercer standard "Summer Wind" and Charlie Chaplin's bittersweet classic "Smile"), Peyroux chooses songs from her contemporaries. She acknowledges her French roots with Serge Gainsbourg's "La Javanaise," returns to Leonard Cohen for two songs, covers Tom Waits's classic "(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night," and duets seamlessly with k. d. lang on Joni Mitchell's "River." Bigger surprises come from the four songs Peyroux herself had a hand in writing. Peyroux is a superb songwriter -- the wonderful "Don't Wait Too Long" was her lone contribution to Careless Love -- and her songs, such as the breezy "A Little Bit" and the gently swinging "I'm All Right" (written with Steely Dan's Walter Becker and producer Larry Klein), are the most joyful tracks on this seductive album. Peyroux makes only one misstep on Half the Perfect World: She sells herself short by 50 percent with the title.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/12/2006
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661325227
catalogNumber: 613252
Rank: 68983

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Madeleine Peyroux   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Gary Foster   Alto Saxophone
Larry Goldings   Celeste,Wurlitzer,Soloist
Till Brönner   Trumpet
Larry Klein   Wurlitzer
k.d. lang   Vocals
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar
Dean Parks   Guitar,Ukulele,Soloist
David Piltch   Bass
Scott Amendola   Drums
Jay Bellerose   Cymbals,Drums
Sam D. Bass   Cello
Carla Kihlstedt   Violin
Sam Yahel   Piano,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Graeme Jennings   Violin
Charith Premawardhana   Viola

Technical Credits

Leonard Cohen   Composer
Fred Neil   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Tom Waits   Composer
Serge Gainsbourg   Composer
Charlie Chaplin   Composer
Larry Klein   Producer
Henry Mayer   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Anjani   Composer
Madeleine Peyroux   Composer
Helix Hadar   Engineer
Hans Bradtke   Composer
Mark Orton   String Arrangements
Geoffrey Parsons   Composer

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