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In 2003 Melody Gardot was riding her bicycle in Philadelphia when she was hit by a Jeep Cherokee that had run a red light. she suffered significant injuries to her head and spine and also her pelvis was broken in two places. These injuries left her in Hospital for a year in which time she was visited by a physician who recommended Music to help her recovery. She began writing songs and it became a source of a release for her. Although she had an interest in Music before the accident she studied Fashion at the Community College of Philadelphia. Once out of Hospital her recovery was not done and she still often wears dark sunglasses due to the sensitivity to light which was caused by her head injuries.
She independently released her debut album in 2006, It was the outcome of her recuperation. The album is a mix of Jazz and Blues. The album was later re-released on a record label which was Verve Records/UCJ. All of the songs were solely written and composed by Melody Gardot. The album was very well received and was subject to some critical acclaim. The album features ten songs and is a fairly short 33 minutes, 14 seconds long.
1.) Worrisome Heart
This is a beautiful start to the album, It's a dark Jazz ballad with some divine Piano and shuffling double bass. The sax is sexy and alluring. Gardot's voice is beautifully emotive and relaxed. The track is about looking to get away from your troubles and looking for that someone to love you for who you are and not be put off by your problems. I love the way the track builds and there are some sumptuous moments that really showcase the emotion in her voice and the way she emotes with the music. A fantastic start to the album.
2.) All that I need is love
This is another very strong track, It's a short one at just over two and a half minutes but has a lovely feel and carries on from the opener about looking for someone to love and to love you back. Another excellent Jazzy track which works really well.
This is another fine mellow track, this time about a partner walking away from the relationship and the aftermath of them walking out on you. Gardot's beautifully seductive voice shines here with an effortless vocal which really gets home the emotion of the song. Gentle acoustic guitar backed by some lovely cello and the simplicity is what really gets to you. Beautiful.
4.) Sweet Memory
This is a nice Jazzy track with some elements of country with the guitar part. The shuffling background combines well with her effortless voice to create a lovely soundstage which really impresses. This is another fairly short track but it certainly lets out enough emotion and grace in the three minutes and twenty one seconds.
5.) Some Lessons
This is one of the best tracks on the album and a really lovely track. The simplicity is the real key to this song. Just a gentle acoustic guitar with a heartbreaking vocal from Gardot. The emotion is dripping from each word she sings. the guitar is later joined by a slow string piece with a double bass. the music on this track really keeps the emotion of the song. The song is about the lessons you learn in life and how you move on from them.
6.) Quiet Fire
This is one of the more Bluesy moments on the album with still keeping the Jazz style too. It's a slow brooding affair with Gardot's seductive expressive vocals shining yet again. This track is another moment of longing for love and showing she has love to offer and wants to be loved the way she loves. This is another great moment on the album.
7.) One Day
Another relaxed moment of Beauty here. The simplicity of the guitar parts combine well with her beautiful vocal to create a lovely track which is just two minutes and two seconds long but is packed with emotion and grace with some lovely musicianship. This is Another clear example of her obvious talent.
8.) Love Me Like A River Does
This is another contender for best track on the album, It's another splendidly emotive track. Her voice is extraordinary on this one, possibly even more so that on much of the album. The emotion is incredible and the combination of the instrumentation really sends chills down your spine on a decent setup. The quality of this song is extraordinary.
This is a slow shuffling Jazzy track which has some subtle brush strokes and gentle acoustic guitar which combine with the other instruments beautifully to create a great soundstage. This blends into one of the faster paced tracks on the album then slows wonderfully and builds pace again. A nice change of mood and pace from the previous tracks on the album.
This is a lovely little instrumental to end with which features Jazzy George Benson like guitar and some cymbals crashing. This part has a live feel to it as the additional part to the performance of a track and it ends the album off well.
This is quite an extraordinary album which is all the more incredible given just what Melody Gardot went through to be able to record this album. Her vocal purity is so strikingly beautiful and subtle and the emotion is clear. This is an amazingly talented composer and vocalist and she's not a bad musician either. Much of her music is truly wonderful and if you like Jazz and Blues you should certainly check her out as she is a diamond artist who I hope continues to record music like this in the future and having three albums now under her belt she has built a fine reputation amongst critics and fans. Please check her out, It will be so worth it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Worrisome Heart
2 All That I Need Is Love
4 Sweet Memory
5 Some Lessons
6 Quiet Fire
7 One Day
8 Love Me Like A River Does