Saturday, December 4, 2010

Song of the week: Melody Gardot's "Baby I'm a Fool"

I've been following Melody Gardot for a few years now. I first ran into her music when her song "Worrisome Heart" was an iTunes single of the week. I downloaded it, loved it, and subsequently downloaded the whole album, also called Worrisome Heart. I found out about an EP, The Bedroom Sessions, she had done while laying in a hospital bed for a year recovering from a vicious hit-and-run accident. Later came another EP, Live from Soho, which I downloaded the second I found out about it. Its opening song, which became the second single off of her second album My One and Only Thrill, was "Baby I'm a Fool" which mesmerized me immediately.

Gardot has said of this song, "'Baby I'm a Fool' is about two coquettish people who are very much afraid to admit they could possibly even fall in love and there is a secret between them both, so you have two Don Juans dancing around each other with the undertow that they are actually in love but never admitting it" Gardot is a bit different than many young jazz artists in that she mostly writes her own songs. Most jazz singers are not writers as well, or at least are not musicians and only write lyrics. Gardot, on the other hand, has released only 3 songs that she didn't write the words and music to, still co-writing two of them, and the other being her cover of "Over the Rainbow".

Her music isn't the most complex in the world, but starting out as a piano player from the age of 9, and now mostly switched to guitar, she implores many odd chords and progressions in her writing. Her lyrics range from sweet to sultry to achingly autobiographical. Her song "Some Lessons" recalls some of the details of the accident that left her with sensitivities to light and sound, memory and movement, and neural pathways in her brain that were treated with the musical therapy that brought her to where she is today. And still she refuses to be a downer, giving us the feeling that the song is about appreciating life, not holding a grudge against those who've wronged us. And in this song, "Baby I'm a Fool", even though she has these "two Don Juans dancing around each other", she still doesn't deprive them of the possibility of love, or of a happy ending. It's a wonderful song from a wonderful artist, one whom I will always look forward to watching in the years to come.

1 comment:

moviesandsongs365 said...

Nice song. She certainly has an interesting story, which adds to the appeal. I don’t know many soft jazz singers, but heard her compared to Norah Jones. Gardot is one of the most promising music discoveries I made earlier in 2010. Very calm and peaceful voice, almost retro feel to some of it I think. Really liked her album My One And Only Thrill, and will keep an eye out for more. Thanks for sharing some of her tracks here and the story behind Baby I'm a fool.