Best Dresses and Best Songs,
This review is from: This Charming Life (Audio CD)
Top Artists put you at ease. When they begin to perform, you feel relaxed in the knowledge that there will be no lapses of taste, no indecorous artistic solecisms to set your teeth on edge. So it is with this CD: from the opening bars of "This Charming Life" through to "Cry", you know you are in good hands. Joan Armatrading still thinks og herself primarily as a songwriter, and here is the rvidence of someone who had remained true to their craft, building complex structured nusic from what seem simple germs of ideas. And here too is tthe great voice and fine instrumentalist to deliver it.
This is a very up-beat collection, from the simple pleasureableness whish informs the title-track, through "Love Love Love" (which is thematicaly similar to "All The Way From America")to other tracks like "People Who Win" and "Two Tears" where positivity triumphs over maliciousness or indifference. In the former, especially, whish is built, like "Diamond", over a sturdy bass-line, we know both from lyrics and performance that bad luck and bad vibes will not prevail. Of the 3 succeeding tracks, all interesting in themselves, "Heading back to New York City" has something of the feel of "Into The Blues" about it, "Goddess of Change" (somewhat reminiscent of Annie Lennox's "Medusa")evokes a comforting presence, and the quirky "Diamond" leaves echoes in the memory for some time after you have heard it. Then follows "Promises", the only trck which I found disappointing - in truth , probably a good enough song but, in the light of what this artist has done with ballads in the past, it sounds a wee bit ordinary. However, we are back to form straightaway with the terrific, bouncy bass-line which underpins the driveng "Virtual REality". an outstanding track which is succeeded by another, the almost irresistible "Best Dress On" where Joan is not content merely to trade on the singalong chorus, but develops the song in different directions, including some "Shoop, Shoop"s along the way, and afine abstact guitar solo. The song "Cry" brings the set to a close.
This is avery accomplished and satisfying CD. Take the advice which Joan offers at the end of the lyric-book: "Play these songs loud and Enjoy"