Melody Gardot's third album "The Absence" was inspired by her travels to Portugal, Morocco and Brazil. She not only travelled to these locales, she immersed herself in the cultures, learning new languages, both linguistic and musical. These influences find their way into many of the album's eleven tracks. "Mira", "Iemanja" and especially "Lisboa" are the best of these exotic tracks. There's also a three-song stretch of film noir-tinged music - "Impossible Love", "If I Tell You I Love You" and the album's stand-out cut "Goodbye" where Gardot's versatile voice simulates a baritone sax as she growls out the chorus. Because of Melody's 2003 accident, the songs again are mostly quiet in nature. This is most evident in the opening few tracks which I found a bit sleepy. The album as a whole, apart from the production, does not seem of this time. Gardot has a unique way of making her compositions sound like they're long-lost tracks from the Great American Songbook. Adventurous, joyous and romantic, "The Absence" is a perfect late-night listen.