Melody Gardot - Which albums to buy?


Hello music lovers,

I just came upon Melody Gardot by chance and after listening to the Amazon sounds clips for "My One and Only Thrill".  Really liked what I was hearing.  I recently got into Karen Souza based on a recommendation from an A'Goner as well as Kandace Springs.  Melody's songs seem to have a genuineness to them.  

So...based on song and sound quality, which album (s) should I pursue?  Thanks!




Previewhifiman5
She only has 4 that are full-length standalone. Start with ’Worrisome Heart.’ ’Live in Europe’ is another to consider.
My one and only thrill - If the stars were mine - is my favorite track of hers . That album seems more polished to me than the others as far as sonics 
Thanks for the recommendations.  Several of the Amazon reviews were negative on the Live in Europe album saying that Melody's vocals were buried in the mix.  Any thoughts on Live in Europe?

I really like live albums.  Last night and today listening to Supertramp Live in Paris on LP.  Diana Krall's Live in Paris LP gave me a new appreciation for her as an artist enabling me to enjoy her studio efforts much more.
It took me some time to 'warm' up to the Live In Europe album. I do like it now. Since you like live recordings, she also has Live From SoHo which is a shorter EP, however it's one I haven't heard.
Worrisome Heart and Currency of Man are my favorites. Different albums, but both great in their own way IMO
+1  "My One and Only Thrill"
All her albums are worth having, The Live In Europe album on the Verve label is probably my favorite, probably because it’s live and has 6 sides. Been a fan since her first offering. The recording plays very well on my system.
Thanks for your responses.  I really appreciate reading your opinions.  I ordered "My One and Only Thrill" from Amazon.  It is the import disc including the EP of "Live in Paris".

@tooblue   Could you please opine on the sound quality and "mix" of "Live in Europe"?  How well was your vinyl pressed?  Thanks!
I had no issues what so ever with the recording overall and was surprised when someone else noted it negatively. I will revisit the recording shortly with a barely broken in ART9 that I have just started using but with my ZYX Universe that I have been using for the last 4 years prior, I culled nothing, everything seemed to sound good. 
@tooblue   Thanks for opining.  I think I'll get into "My One and Only Thrill/Live in Paris" first and if I like it as much as I suspect I will, I'll check out "Live in Europe".
I do not enjoy her live album, but like every other recording she has.  The live in Paris recording is just disappointing to the point of turning me off to seeing her live.  
Another +vote for Kandace Springs.Happy Listening!
Correction...meant the new Live In Europe recording...
Her music reminds me of Diana Krall--well recorded but a bit too polished and lacking soul. My wife loves--me not as much.  I like "Worrisome Heart" the best in terms of the song craft and performance. I wish she would ditch the strings and explore the blues a little more. 
@grannyring   Is it the performance, recording quality or a bit of both that turns you off on the "live in Europe" album?  Thanks!
@dodgealum   Interesting observation about Ms. Krall.  Until I got the LP of "Live in Paris" I was having a rough time understanding why she was so popular among so many listeners.  The "Live" album helped to humanize her and changed the way I listened or at least appreciated her studio efforts.

I didn't realize, until reading your post, that Gardot's albums are all laden with backing strings.  If so, she might do well to cut an album with a blue/jazz trio or quartet.  Here's hoping.
@hifiman5 So I had the opposite reaction to "Live in Paris". I find Krall's singing style to be a little bit affected, which is tolerable on her other LPs but less so on the live album. It is almost a caricature--Krall singing Krall with unwelcome or unnatural emphasis that she may intend to come across as "feeling" for the crowd. Don't get me wrong, I like her voice and the "Love Stories" album (I have the SACD version) has some great tracks--but overall she leaves me feeling unmoved. Same with Gardot. I remember loving Stevie Nicks voice and style of singing--evident on the self-titled LP and on "Rumours" but then she started emphasizing what was a slightly "gritty" quality that had been very subtle but which in later albums with FM and during her solo run became a dominant element of her vocal style. At that point she lost me. (With two exceptions--"Stop Dragging My Heart Around" with TP was great as was her backup vocals on "Insider" off of TP's "Hard Promises").
@dodgealum Interesting how "individualistic" the listening experience is. My positive reaction to "Live in Paris" might have a bit to do with my enjoyment of live albums in general. Like to listen to them with lights off and just feel as a part of the crowd. This happens notably with Pink Floyd’s "Pulse". I listened throughout the day yesterday to Supertramp’s "Live in Paris" LP. "Fool’s Overture" is absolutely fantastic on that live set. The crowd loved that song going in and you can feel the band feeding off the crowd’s enthusiasm.

BTW...Both the eponymous and Rumours albums are fantastic for the wonderfully crafted songs and the superb sound quality. My favorite song is "Warm Ways". From that song on, I was in love with Stevie’s voice!
@hifiman5 Yes, both are great. My wife has the self-titled album on constant rotation in the car so she and my six year old son are now singing them all day long. I think John McVie is an underrated bass player--he is excellent on both these LPs. BTW, that is Christine McVie singing on "Warm Ways" :>)
@dodgealum   My Bad!  I stand corrected.  Agree with you on John McVie.  I am a particular fan of Mick Fleetwood's drum kit.🥁
I would go with "The Absence " but since you like live recordings and the "Live in Europe" is really good, that would be my choice for you.

"Live" has a lot of the live gymnastics that you will love or hate. Check out youtube and see what you think.
The recording quality is fine on the live recording. I just don’t care for the style of the live compositions and her performance. Completely subjective and just my personal preferences at play. 
I find it interesting to follow the 'arc of development' of an artist. Gardot is easy to follow in this regard as she hasn't been shy about taking chances and her catalog isn't wide (yet) . Her next album should be illustrative.
Nice songs. I own ’One and Only Thrill.’ Shame about the quality of the vinyl. However I can ignore some crackles if the recording is good.
After playing Melody’s album, I played a 70s recording by Roger Whittaker. It was etched and crystalline with the finest highs and an open clear transparency. It is a joy to hear the most minute details- the color of percussive elements, tiny bells, the clarity of his baritone etc. The Gardot recording is dull, muted and veiled by comparison. No doubt digital. If only artists knew what they are being cheated out of.
@noromance   I read your post above just before receiving "My One and Only Thrill" CD today.  I note that your comments refer to the LP of that release.  Specifically, I bought the European release which includes a second CD of "Live in Paris".  

The sound quality of the main CD is superb in every way.  Melody's voice is right in the room!  The orchestra and other supporting instruments were well placed and clear and clean.

I'm looking forward to listening to the live tracks later today.

It's a shame the sound of the LP is so poor.  It's also surprising.  Perhaps the European release was engineered and mastered more expertly.  Both CDs are mastered by Bernie Grundman.
@noromance   I forgot to thank you for your post.  I really appreciate it as I will know to be wary of her LP releases.  It would be interesting if there was a European released LP that we could compare to what you are hearing.
Listening to the "Live in Paris" EP included with "My One and Only Thrill" UK Special Edition CD. Beautiful open "you are there" sound quality. Very vivid sounding applause! There is something very unique about how Melody enunciates consonants. Distinctive quality.
@hifiman5 The thing is though that it does sound good. And you are correct about the in the room quality, and yes, the orchestra is sublime. However, it is only when I played older recordings that I am acutely aware that there is something else going on. It is as if all non-essential musical artifacts have been removed, smoothed over. It reminds me of Dolby C on a CrO2 tape! I always used to let the hiss through and the music shine and breath than have it processed into some weaker facsimile of the actual musical frequencies.
I have the hi rez "The Absence" flac and it always knocks me right out. If you have a good rig, it's primo stuff.  

Worrisome heart also as good. Only have those two. Both delish. 
Another +vote for all of her albums are worth owning.  Happy Listening!
My One and Only Thrill is my favorite.
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