Album #359 – Joan Armatrading
Joan Armatrading’s self-titled third album was the one that broke the camel’s back. It thrust her into the mainstream in the UK and resulted in her first top ten single, Love and Affection. I really connected with this album on an emotional level. Armatrading’s songs are filled with emotion and depth. She once said that her songs are not about her own personal life but, about her observations of others. She said if her songs were personal, they would have never seen the light of day. Hearing her for the first time makes me wonder why I didn’t get into her music sooner. I guess it’s better late, than never. Glyn Johns’ production gave her songs the ability to become larger than life. A who’s who of British session musicians accompany Armatrading on this album including: BJ Cole, Dave Mattacks, Graham Lyle and future drummer of The Who, Kenney Jones. I will definitely be listening to this one again and seeking it out to add into my collection immediately. The songs are more raw and honest than most songwriters of this period. At times, some of these songs touched me more than much of today’s music. Before listening to this album, I always associated Armatrading with Tracy Chapman. Both look and sound similar. But, that is where the comparison ends. While Chapman writes more songs about social issues than love, Armatrading specializes in the spectrum of human emotions. Definitely give this album a listen. Other highlights include: Down to Zero, Water With the Wine, Save Me, Somebody Who Loves You, Like Fire and Tall In The Saddle. Overall, I give Joan Armatrading, 5 out of 5.
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