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Madeleine Peyroux - Bare Bones - Rounder

On the title track to her new album Madeleine Peyroux leaves us with these parting words "...the truth itself, nothing but a gamble / it might or might not set you free / but in these bare bones there's something lovely after all..." While interpretation will vary, one thing is for sure, and that's that Peyroux did indeed take a gamble on Bare Bones, attempting something she's never done before.

On her previous two releases, Careless Love and Half the Perfect World, Peyroux gained critical praise for her jazzy takes on music from a variety of genres. However, on Bare Bones, Peyroux writes or is a co-writer on every song. And after you listen, you'll scratch your head wondering, "why did she wait until now?" If you're familiar with her previous works, the difference is immediately noticeable and not just because all the songs are new. Bare Bones has a different feel, a truer sense of connection with the artist.

Everything else on Bare Bones is pretty consistent. Larry Klein is again producing and stylistically the album is in line with her last few releases. Peyroux's leap into songwriting is once again the key. On songs like "You Can't Do Me", there is a confident swagger, even some humor - sides of her that weren't always available. It's always difficult to predict a verdict when an artist rolls the dice like Peyroux has, but in this case I like the odds.

Written by Mike Vasilikos

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