Since her 2008 debut, Melody Gardot has grown by artistic leaps and bounds, taking on new song forms and styles with a seemingly endless appetite for musical adventure. If Gardot's last album, My One and Only Thrill, played like classic film noir, The Absence is a vivid Technicolor travelogue that takes in Brazil (bossa nova and samba), Argentina (tango), Portugal (fado) and the multiethnic stew pot of modern Paris, with Gardot's mastery of Spanish, Portuguese and French adding local color to many songs. "Mira" starts the story off with a burst of frenetic joy, though the pieces darken as tales of travel and romance start to take in deception (self- and otherwise), lust and heartbreak. Brazil's Heitor Pereira is a key collaborator here and duets on a number of tunes, but this remains Melody Gardot's travelogue. Like a libertine Paul Simon, she basks in exotic locales and time signatures while illustrating that new roads can enrich her life and her music, but can't change human nature.
Description provided by -- Nick Dedina, Google Play