Madeleine Peyroux’s ‘Careless Love’ Is An Example Of A Re-Issue Done Mostly Right

Courtesy: Rounder Records/Craft Recordings

Jazz vocalist Madeleine Peyroux has been back in the news this year.  That is because Peyroux re-issued her 2004 sophomore album Careless Love last month on 2CD and digital platforms and followed up that re-issue with a vinyl pressing of the re-issue Friday.  The re-issues came through Rounder Records (which released the album in its initial presentation) and Craft Recordings.  Coming more than 17 years after the album’s original release and a little more than three years after the release of her latest album, Anthem, the re-issue is a little bit of a headscratcher.  That is because of that time frame.  Typically, re-issues come on anniversaries that end in “5” and “0.”  That aside, the presentation is still positive.  That is due to the bonus concert that is featured with the recording.  While that bonus concert is a positive, no doubt, the re-issue’s packaging proves somewhat problematic.  It is not enough to make the re-issue a failure, but also cannot be ignored.  Getting back to the bonus concert, its production values make for their own appeal.  It will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Careless Love’s re-issue.  All things considered, they make the record a prime example of a re-issue done right, regardless of genre.

The new re-issue of Madeleine Peyroux’s 2004 album Careless Love is a presentation that her established audiences and casual jazz fans will love.  That is due in no small part to the bonus concert featured with the re-issue.  The 14-song presentation is an almost complete performance of that album.  Recorded July 15, 2005 at Festival de Jazz de Vitoria-Gasteiz, its presentation here marks the first time that it has ever seen the light of day as an official release from Peyroux.  It also features some other songs to boost the enjoyment even more.  The performance put on by Peyroux and her fellow musicians leaves on to imagine thoughts of one of those well-lit high class social clubs that Hollywood has romanticized in so many period flicks.  The group’s subtle performance is that immersive.  Add in that this is apparently technically Peyroux’s first live release and that many audiences are still chomping at the bit for live music to this day due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it becomes that much more appealing and important to this re-issue.  It’s too bad that no full audiovisual (DVD/BD) platform was made available for the concert, but maybe one day.  Regardless, the full set list and the performance of Peyroux and all involved makes the live show such a key part of the re-issue’s presentation that everyone will appreciate.

While the concert featured in Careless Love’s re-issue is so impressive, the presentation is not perfect.  The packaging thereof proves somewhat problematic.  The problem comes specifically in how the re-issue’s two discs are placed in the gatefold, “paper” package.  Audiences have to squeeze that packaging in order to slide the discs out of there respective spots in the packaging.  From there, audiences have to pinch the discs on the edges and pull them out in order to get to them.  Herein lies the problem.  On one hand, the constant squeezing will put wear and tear on the packaging.  It will put more wear and tear on this packaging than what would be put on a typical plastic case.  Add in having to pinch the disc afterward in order to get to the discs, and the risk of the packaging to rip as wear and tear continues.  Additionally, the sliding of the discs in and out, rather than pulling them from a spindle on a plastic plate makes more likely that the discs can and will get marred.  That is because they will rub more against the packaging than if they were placed on the noted plastic plate, which is used in typical plastic cases.  So again, this re-issue’s packaging is problematic.  Now as long as audiences are careful, that wear and tear will happen more slowly.  Regardless, it will happen more than would happen with a more typical plastic case.  So again, this is a problem, but not enough to make the re-issue a failure.  It just cannot be ignored.

Getting back to the positive that is the re-issue’s bonus concert, the production thereof works with the content and performances thereof to round out the re-issue’s most important items.  Audiences can hear the crowd noise from the show, which adds to the positive of the listening experience.  It adds a special positive nuance to that experience that will leave listeners feel as if they are right there.  Additionally, the balance of each performer’s part throughout the concert is just as deserving of applause.  The size and construction of the venue where the concert was recorded is unknown, considering it was only released on CD.  Regardless, the sound levels of all things involved are expertly handed.  At no point does one performer’s work outweight that of his/her fellow musicians.  It is all balanced so well.  Add in that it all takes that noted airy sense at the production’s base into account, too.  That consideration adds even more to the sense that listeners are right there, too.  The sensation that all of this creates in listeners minds means that audiences get the best seat in the house even at home, in their cars and elsewhere.  Keeping that in mind along with the importance of the recording’s set list and performance thereof, the whole makes the concert an excellent addition to Careless Love’s presentation.  In turn, that and the presentation of the original album in whole makes the album overall a win for Peyroux and her fans.

Madeleine Peyroux’s new re-issue of Careless Love is a positive presentation.  The re-issue’s success comes in large part through the presentation of its bonus concert.  The concert is a near full performance of the original album.  The performances presented throughout make the concert all the more enjoyable.  While the concert is a clear bonus, the re-issue’s packaging detracts from the presentation.  That is because of how easily the packaging, and in turn the discs, can be damaged.  It is not enough to make the re-issue a failure, but at the same time cannot be ignored.  The concert’s production works with its content to enhance the listening experience even more.  Each item examined here is important in its own right to the whole of the re-issue.  All things considered, they make the presentation a prime example of the mostly right way to present a re-issue, regardless of genre.

Madeleine Peyroux’s re-issue of Carless Love is available now.  Peyroux is also in the midst of a tour in support of the record.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Careless Love Forever Tour Dates

September 21 –Pittsburgh, PA at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts

September 22 – Harrisburg, PA at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts

September 24 – Kent, OH at Kent Stage

September 25 – Cincinnati, OH at Ludlow Garage

September 26 – Chicago, IL at Old Town School of Folk Music

September 27 – Minneapolis, MN at Pantages Theatre

September 29 – Omaha, NE at Kiewit Hall

September 30 – Kansas City, MO at Helzberg Hall / Kauffmann Center for the Performing Arts

October 1 – Nashville, TN at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville

October 2 – Atlanta, GA at Variety Playhouse

October 4 – Hoover, AL at The Library Theatre

October 5 – Hoover, AL at The Library Theatre

October 7 – Eugene, OR at The Shedd Institute

October 8 – Seattle, WA at Benaroya Hall

October 9 – Portland, OR at Revolution Hall

October 10 – Spokane, WA at Bing Crosby Theatre

October 13 – Santa Cruz, CA at Rio Theatre

October 14 – Rohnert Park, CA at The Green Music Center

October 15 – Berkeley, CA at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse

October 16 – Beverly Hills, CA at Saban Theatre

More information on Madeleine Peyroux’s Careless Love re-issue and supporting tour is available along with all of her latest news at:

Website: https://MadeleinePeyroux.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MadeleinePeyroux

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mpeyrouxmusic

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

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