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A More poppy, reggae-styled Joan...
on 12 July 2012
Having seen Joan 'Live' recently, as part of her Starlight tour, I'm playing and re-assessing all the albums I have of hers.
Walk Under Ladders, LP, I bought as a grammar schoolboy and is now one of the few that have yet to be replaced by CD. Is it worth doing so?
Vocally, she's seldom been better, the lower ranges of her glorious and mellow vocal range complimenting the instrumental backing of a rockier (I Wanna Hold You), the lovely bass of the fresh-sounding reggae number 'When I Get It Right'.
I tend to not always go for the hit singles that I'm supposed to, so I'm Lucky isn't up there, for me. The playful keyboards in another reggae track, 'Romancers' lift this one to being one of my favourite tracks on the album.
However, the most exquisite of all must be the evocatively beautiful 'The Weakness In Me', which Joan sang at the gig - and my two sentences of conversation with her at the after-gig CD signing session were all about telling her that this remains possibly my favourite of all hers, from any album. She quietly replied that it was still one of her favourites, too.
The very pop of 'No Love', with its acoustic guitar intro, sax solo and familiar structure, opens side 2 and which I've always liked. Steve Lillywhite's production is sparse, yet detailed, here. Rockabilly springs up in the suitably titled 'At the Hop', and which is not my choice of style but Joan even manages to make this pretty good.
A wonderfully deep 'Dub' bass and keys appear in the 'I Can't Lie to Myself', though the next track 'Eating the Bear' is the only song that is repetitive and comparatively poor and which I'd skip if it were on my Ipod.
Once again, the sub woofer bass of Tony Levine starts of the mystical and magical closing song - 'Only One'. Thomas Dolby enhances this misty and floaty ballad with his beautiful keyboardy twiddly bits and is the ideal song to fall asleep to....
Yes, Walk Under Ladders still has 'it' and one that's going digital!