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Arc of Joan
on 3 December 2012
Having seen the striking Joan Wasser on a TV tribute to Sandy Denny, I immediately realised what I might have been missing and so ordered a trio of her albums. So far this is my favourite.
The opening title track is a captivating song, with a gorgeous melody sung with a huskily hypnotic intensity by Joan at her most imtimate. It`s unforgettable when she sings the line:
Be reckless with me
The rest of this excellent grower of a record is inventive, beautifully recorded and filled with songs of varying degrees of inspiration - I`m waiting for Joan to record that perfect album.
Anthony Hegarty sings to good effect on the superb I Defy, with a euphoric piano riff towards the end. The following Flushed Chest is cheekily spooky, and goes down a treat.
She`s backed throughout by a sympathetic band, and the whole thing has a haunting feel to it that, to some extent, shows Joan as the original talent she undoubtedly is.
On the other albums I`ve heard by this very likeable woman, there`s something missing, drowned in too much production and massed synths. I like to hear a more stripped down sound from her, that allows her songs room to breathe, much as she showed on that Sandy Denny tribute, which had her at her piano backed only by a small folk band. This superb album comes close to that ideal.
I admire the striking, beguilingly raunchy Joan a lot, and this is well worth listening to and living with, one of her best albums. I like it the more I listen to it...