Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

JOAN ARTMATRADING

Starlight

2013-03-17

British singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading's latest album, Starlight, finds the artist continuing to tweak her style, this time with jazz infusions, variably saccharine though those infusions may be. The album as a whole has divisions within in. Armtrading teeters back and forth between ample silliness and maturity, with the first tracks "Single Life and "Close to Me" embodying this split. "Single Life" is bouncy, a little cloying, but otherwise a harmless and energetic opener, while "Close to Me" takes a serious embrace of loving relationships. With her experience as an established singer/songwriter, Armatrading's work seems more fruitful with the latter. The album mainly deals with love and relationships, an unfortunately occasionally dips into the corny. Phrases like "intravenous hugs" in "I Want That Love" can hardly be defended. Another kind of division of the album is the vocal performance itself. Tracks like "Single Life" and "Tell Me" has Armatrading spilling out words, sometimes almost distinctly separate from music. The dichotomous nature of songs like these hints at spoken word, and while treating the voice as a solo instrument in of itself is nothing new to jazz, more effort to knit the music together would be appreciated. The album itself feels a bit like disparate pieces coming together, with enough groove to make the initial listen enjoyable, but ultimately forgettable. - Jacqueline Ristola

Quick Links:

More reviews tagged #Folk

  • reviewed 04/2008

    A.A. BONDY
    American Hearts

  • reviewed 02/2005

    Holly Williams
    The Ones We Never Knew

  • reviewed 10/2008

    BORIS GARCIA
    Once More Into the Bliss

  • reviewed 05/2008

    China Forbes
    '78

  • reviewed 01/2011

    JOHN McCUTCHEON
    Passage

  • reviewed 03/2014

    RUN RIVER NORTH
    Run River North

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.