MELODY GARDOT’s “My One and Only Thrill”
Songbird Gardot made a considerable splash with her ’07 debut “Worrisome Heart,” but her compelling backstory – the victim of a terrible bicycle accident who used music as therapy to recover – threatened to overshadow her obvious vocal talents. This disc makes it clear that she’s no mere overnight news-story to be cast aside. She’s a beguiling vocalist with powerful interpretive skills, who offers plenty of resilience to counterbalance her vulnerability. Naturally, she’s getting lots of comparisons to such singers as Joni Mitchell and Madeleine Peyroux (the album is produced by Larry Klein), as well pop-jazz crossover artists like Norah Jones, but the influence of the eclectic Eva Cassidy and even Edith Piaf might be just as strong. This is a decidedly glossy production that occasionally goes a bit too heavy of the syrupy strings, but Gardot manages to hold her own here. This is not just romantic, but smart as well – an all-too-rare combination.