Friday, July 20, 2012

Album Review: Melody Gardot, The Absence

If you're a fan of bossa nova jazz continue reading. If not, don't bother because this exquisite album of soft, nuanced vocals with delicate, acoustic instrumentation is going to be completely lost upon you.

Still here? Cool.

I've always been a huge fan of João and Astrud Gilberto's 1962 smash hit "The Girl From Ipanema", so when I took a listen of this album I was absolutely captivated. Melody's soft guitar plucking is accompanied throughout by cello and a gentle drum finessed just so with brush sticks. The duet "Se Voce Ama" especially harkens to the Gilbertos.

In addition to the bossa nova sound, there are also elements of purring, romantic French folk and even some hints of African tribal music. It's an album that's timeless, international, and gorgeous. If you are looking for a romantic evening with your lover than nothing could possibly set the mood better than this sensual compilation.

If I had one criticism it would be the album can drag after awhile, and a little up tempo would have been nice. The slow, soft songs are wonderful, but at times needs a shot of caffeine to pick up the pace.

That said, it's a very impressive work of art, and I definitely recommend you go collect it. Plenty of others have, as it debuted at #1 on the jazz charts, and still remains in the iTunes Jazz Top 10 a month after release.

Kenny Poo gives "The Absence" 4 of 5 stars.