Madeleine Peyroux's Nearly 'Perfect World'

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Madeleine Peyroux i

In Madeleine Peyroux's third album, Half the Perfect World, she collaborates with Steely Dan's Walter Becker. Marina Chavez/Shore Fire hide caption

itoggle caption Marina Chavez/Shore Fire
Madeleine Peyroux

In Madeleine Peyroux's third album, Half the Perfect World, she collaborates with Steely Dan's Walter Becker.

Marina Chavez/Shore Fire

An Earlier Chat

Listen: 1996 Madeleine Peyroux Interview

From the NPR Studios

Madeleine Peyroux performs at NPR.

Madeleine Peyroux performs at NPR. Van Williamson, NPR hide caption

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Anytime Madeleine Peyroux sings, her music sounds a little different.

The Georgia-born Peyroux (her last name is pronounced like the country Peru) became famous, in part, for putting her idiosyncratic touch on time-tested standards. Many have compared her voice to Billie Holliday's.

Peyroux moved to France as a teenager, singing in the streets. After making her debut at 22 with Dreamland, she waited eight years before putting out a follow-up album. That was 2004's Careless Love.

For her latest album, Half the Perfect World, she returns only briefly to the older American songbook, choosing to cover more recent material, from Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen to Bob Dylan.

Peyroux recently dropped by NPR's studios to performs songs from the new collection, and threw in a reprise of the lovely old Dylan tune "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," which appeared on Careless Love.

Singer Peyroux Returns with 'Careless Love'

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Songs from 'Careless Love'

Listen: Dance Me to the End of Love

Listen: Don't Wait Too Long

Listen: You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

Listen: 1996 Madeleine Peyroux Interview

Singer Madeleine Peyroux moved to France at age 15. She honed her vocal talents on the streets of Paris, busking with groups with names like the Riverboat Shufflers and the Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz Band.

Madeleine Peyroux

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At 22, she made a splash with her debut CD Dreamland. Now — fully eight years later — comes Careless Love, her second recording.

One of the songs Peyroux interprets on the new CD was sung in 1940s Paris by another American-born artist, Josephine Baker. The sweet melody saluted bonds between America and France while expressing the bittersweet emotions of the expatriate.

Peyroux recently spoke to Sheilah Kast from NPR's New York bureau.

Web Resources

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Half the Perfect World

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Album
Half the Perfect World
Artist
Madeleine Peyroux
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Rounder
Released
2006

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Careless Love

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Album
Careless Love
Artist
Madeleine Peyroux
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Rounder
Released
2004

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Dreamland

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Album
Dreamland
Artist
Madeleine Peyroux
Label
Atlantic
Released
1996

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