The real star of Melody Gardots second album is her still worrisome heart.
In the 11 tracks that make up My One and Only Thrill,the 23-year-old,smoky-voiced,jazz singer-songwriter sings softly,sassily and with quiet fortitude about love found,lost and in limbo. Beginning an album with a broken heart can spell doom,but not for Gardot. If Baby Im a fool has her in pieces,she swings back with enough oomph in Your heart is as black as night,the trumpet echoing her bitterness. Each song is accompanied by the piano,guitar and the violin and on special occasions the trumpet,harp and the vibraphone,lending the album a full-bodied sound. The Gershwin-esque If the stars were mine is a delight and even more enjoyable in its orchestral version. Our love is easy is easily the most beautiful song here,the trombone solo almost stopping time. Deep within is a Sinatra-inspired track to the extent that one could imagine Ol Blue Eyes singing it; but despite the lush arrangement,it is the weakest song. Yet Gardot knows how to end a good thing: with an upbeat cover of Over the rainbow. With its bossa nova rhythm,youre bound to get up and swirl a little. Perhaps it is a little late to give the backstory,but four years ago Gardot had an accident that left her body a wreck. Bedridden,she tried music therapy,taught herself the guitar in hospital and,on recovering,composed tunes that have us wondering what a tragedy it would have been to have missed them.