Album review: Madeleine Peyroux, The Blue Room (Decca)


Begun as a tribute to Ray Charles, The Blue Room expanded to include more modern songs by Leonard Cohen and Warren Zevon, among others, all treated in Madeleine Peyroux's distinctive languid jazz style. Her covers of Charles's Modern Sounds material are engaging, with the sleek strings and muted trumpet of “Born to Lose” more perfectly perched on the cusp of blues and country than the ungainly “Bye Bye Love”.

Peyroux replaces Charles's gospelly yearning on “Take These Chains” and “I Can't Stop Loving You” with a more resigned tone that's actually better suited to some of the newer material, particularly “Gentle on My Mind” and a sublime version of Randy Newman's “Guilty”.

Download: Guilty; Born to Lose; Gentle on My Mind; Take These Chains