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The Blue Room

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Editors’ Notes

Madeleine Peyroux is one of the finest interpretative singers of the early 21st century. She isn't a performer who chases a retro feel, but rather a singer whose technique is rooted in the blues, jazz, and soul music of the pre-rock era. Many rock singers have found idiosyncratic ways to over-sing their material. By comparison, Peyroux under-sings. Here, she and producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock) set out to explore the influence of Ray Charles' legendary genre-busting 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, where Charles didn't lean into the obvious trademarks of C&W but imbued the songs with his personal wisdom in R&B, gospel, and blues. Peyroux doesn't cover that album, though several songs ("Bye Bye Love," "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Born to Lose," "You Don't Know Me") are shared between the two. The Blue Room instead takes inspiration from the earlier album's open and accepting philosophy. Randy Newman's "Guilty," Leonard Cohen's "Bird on the Wire," and Warren Zevon's "Desperadoes Under the Eaves" transport from their private environs to Peyroux's playground, where she treats them as her own children.

Customer Reviews

Somewhat disappointing

As big of a Peyroux fan as I am, I have to say I was late down by her choices here. I love her sultry voice and recognize the talent, but I like her as a jazz artist not a country/western singer in what comes across as almost an attempt to pay homage to Patsy Cline. I gave 3 stars because of the obvious talent and beauty, but it just was not what I had hoped for in a jazz album.

Too laconic.

I feel like I've heard this before, and it is too sleepy for my tastes. Listen to another new release, Memphis by Boz Skaggs, and you'll find energy in an easygoing voice.


I will always give Madeleine a FIVE star rating as I LOVE her sultry voice, however I too, am disappointed with all these covers. Even though she "owned" her cover of "Smile", I just did not feel the same gutsy renditions on this album. Don't give up!


Born: 1973 in Athens, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Vocalist Madeleine Peyroux can best be thought of as a Billie Holiday for the 1990s. Like Holiday, Peyroux was marketed as a jazz singer, when what she seems to do best is sing blues music. Though Peyroux may remind some listeners of Holiday, there are differences; she has her own sense of phrasing and interpretation. Her 1996 Atlantic Records debut, Dreamland, is a brilliant recording, as Peyroux's distinctive voice is not hindered by overly intricate arrangements. Most of the accompaniment on the...
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The Blue Room, Madeleine Peyroux
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Customer Ratings