Melody Gardot flirted with Latin flavors in her stunning 2009 My One and Only Thrill. In the new release, The Absence, Ms. Gardot devoted the entire record to the bottomless swaying rhythm. With the support of Brazilian guitarist and composer Heitor Pereira, Ms. Gardot takes listeners to Brazil, Portugal and Argentina for a journey of musical exploration.
From the sweet morning dew in “Mira” to the open sea in “Amalia” to the street vibe (with church bell ringing) in “Lisboa,” Gardot offers a spellbinding travelogue with her effortless vocal delivery backing up by Mr. Pereira’s lush, elegant arrangements, in which string orchestration weaving in and out of acoustic picking guitar seamlessly. Also what makes Pareiar’s work so damn mesmerizing is the way he skillfully arranging his instrumentation around Gardot’s voice rather than the other way around. In “Goodbye,” the music ebbs and flows and even growls to accomodate Gardot’s bluesy phrasings.
The Absence marks another expansive musical direction for the multi-talented singer-songwriter. Can’t wait to see where she would take us next in her musical discovery.