Melody Gardot Worrisome Heart Review

Released 2008.  

BBC Review

And you owe it to your ears to discover this gem for yourself.

Sophie Bruce 2008

This debut will inevitably draw comparisons to Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux – but don't fall into the trap of believing it. Because behind the sweeping classic melodies and dreamy piano lie the striking lyrics and edgy tone of Melody Garnot – and beyond them, an unbelievable story of courage against the odds. Disabled after a 4X4 knocked her off her bike at 19, Melody only found her voice while receiving music therapy as she recovered. The recordings she made in a wheelchair at her hospital bedside were eventually released in 2005 as Some Lessons – The Bedroom Sessions.

It was an undoubtedly long, painful slog from there to her first full length release Worrisome Heart. She wrote and co-produced the entire album which had an independent US release in 2006. Picked up by the same DJ who discovered Norah Jones, Garnot started gaining acclaim and signed to Universal, with whom the album now gets a deserved full worldwide release.

It's true that tracks like Sweet Memory and Goodnite have similarities to Jones' standards but unsurprisingly this survivor also has an edge. Only in her early twenties, Gardot is still not fully recovered. She walks with a cane and is hypersensitive to light, noise and sound – not ideal for a professional singer.

Her resulting inner steel cuts through best in top tracks Worrisome Heart and Love Me Like A River Does, lifting them above your standard dreamy jazz classics. On the album's the title track, she calls herself a ''worrisome, troubling, baggage free, modern day dame, ain't nobody the same''. She's right there. Meanwhile Love Me Like A River Does stands out for its simple yet devastating lines such as: ''Baby don't rush, you're no waterfall – love me that is all''.

The disc almost sold out on Amazon the day before release and is getting great reviews all over the world. Garnot is lighthearted in the face of adversity, signing off the album with: ''That was fun!'' Fun? It's so much more than that. And you owe it to your ears to discover this gem for yourself.

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