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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Joan Armatrading

Joan Armatrading

1976

Joan Armatrading

Album Summary

Joan Armatrading is the third studio album by British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading, released in 1976 by A&M Records. It was her first album to be recorded entirely in London, as her first two albums – Whatever's for Us and Back to the Night being partially recorded in France and Wales respectively in addition to London. Released in 1976, the album peaked at number 12 on the UK Albums Chart and was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry. It also included one of Armatrading's best-selling singles, "Love and Affection". Armatrading's 1979 live album Steppin' Out contained two songs from this album, "Love and Affection" and "Tall in the Saddle". She is pictured on the cover of the album playing an Ovation Guitar. The album's producer, Glyn Johns, later said it was the best album he had ever been associated with.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.35

Votes

5681

Genres

  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Singer Songwriter
Reviews
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Mon Dec 06 2021
3

"One more time with feeling," said no one to Joan Armatrading, ever.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
5

Wow, I can’t believe I’ve never heard of her. Such an amazing voice and love the borderline country/funk sound. Love and Affection made its way to my hits playlist.

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

This might be my favorite album we've drawn so far. I really liked it, all the way through. I even started listening to her next album. Also, this is an artist whose name rang a bell but that, to my knowledge, I've never listened to before.

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

Wow, that was great. Last couple songs weren't as good as the ones before it, but it overall was still SUPER solid. I'd never heard of Joan Armatrading before this, but I will certainly remember her name. I think I'll be going back to this a fair amount in the future, and I'll honestly probably even check out more of her stuff.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

So happy to have discovered Joan. Soulful, deep voice doing that classic 60's/70's singer/songwriter thing. Closest thing I can think of melodically is early Elton John, but with a richer voice. She dips into a Motown sound from time to time, but never as much as you'd think considering the era (I guess it was on the other side of the pond). Secret little gems like this are what keep me coming back to this challenge even after an entire year.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

Inventive, beautiful, and poetic. There's so much energy and soul in these tracks, it's incredible front to back.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

This whole album was awesome. Incredible vocal range and style from song to song carried by an eclectic compilation of instrumentals.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

1 - Electric guitar coming in adds a lot. Love the core of acoustic guitar and piano. STEEL GUITAR SOLO. Sounds like folksy Elton John. 2 - Love this more laid back and bluesy turn. OO. Drums and electric guitar coming in is super cool. Strings in background add a lot of texture. Love how she lays the groove back down after the up section. Delivery reminds me of Joni Mitchell. 3 - GROOVY. FUNKY. Maintains that bluesy feel. Weird upper harmonies super cool. 4 - LOVE this slowdown. Arpeggiations on guitar super cool and are slightly off balance throughout song. Love how strings and drums layer in with low voice. SAX SOLO. This song is awesome. 5 - Now THIS is super Joni Mitchell. Cool rock ballad. Little acoustic flurries super cool with electric riffs underneath. Queen loves strings and they do her well. You could make a very cool sample from this hook. 6 - Great transition to something more rhythmic. Almost jazzy intro, still very blues-centered. YES BITCH. Jam vibes. Very jazzy guitar feature into piano feature, playing with left and right speakers builds into another verse. 7 - Catchy!! Love the main riff. Love her vocals. Love the hook. More vocal harmony stuff in this song. Rock vibes with this one. 8 - Gentler yet upbeat folksy ballad. Very happy sounding and nice. Guitar parts are very cool too. 9 - Awesome opening acoustic guitar intro. Can confidently say this song rocks. Sexy vocals, driving rhythm. The acoustic solo in the middle is dope as well, love how everything else drops out for so long. 10 - “You don’t leave my down-hearted, but I'm sorry you had to go, because we had fun while it lasted.” Reflective and somber blues closing, powerful vocal performance. LOVE the upbeat switch at the end, mirrors the uplifting disappointment of the lyrics. Love this for a closing track, really sums up the album musically and thematically. Summary - Great album. I thought the instrumentation was awesome. That combined with the vocal talent of Joan Armatrading allow for a full exploration of the bluesy, jazzy, singer-songwriter sound she creates. You can blast most of this album and dance your ass off, but it also rewards a more focused listening.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

Things I'd trade in a left arm for

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

I can’t believe I’ve never heard of her before. I’ve been listening to this all weekend. The album feels like a singer songwriter record but depending on the song, she does folk rock, country rock, funk and soul. And somehow it all still sounds like one cohesive style. Her vocals tie everything together. She has such a strong, distinct voice and she’s a mesmerizing performer. The songwriting is fantastic too. She writes about love and relationships with depth and maturity, touching on issues of vulnerability, power and confidence. I know I just heard it for the first time a few days ago but I could find room for “Tall in the Saddle” on my top 100 rock songs of all time. What a song! It starts with Pink Floyd style guitar and adds her deeply soulful singing before pausing for a guitar solo that would be at home on “Dark Side of the Moon.” Then it builds to a climax and tears into a funky breakdown followed by an insanely danceable refrain. Even the phrase “tall in the saddle” is great. The song is a takedown of a womanizer in his prime but even post-breakup she concedes how much fun he was. (I love the way she sings, “Fun, fun, fun, fuuun!”) I can’t wait to listen to more of her. Easily my favorite new discovery from this list. 💯

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

Honestly really liked this album. I'll definitely listen to "Down to Zero" and "Love and Affection" again. Joan has the vocal range contraito, which is the lowest female register I guess. This is probably her best known album, but she has a 50-year career with 19 studio albums! She's never been super well known, but has played alongside some big acts like Bob Dylan.

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Some groovy tracks, but seems a little too mellow towards the beginning. Too acoustic to jive, too much presence to vibe? Folk background and later jazz, rock, and blues influences. Later songs more guitar and bass, groovier riffs and drums. Listening to Love and Affection again, almost like an acoustic, very light rock/jazz ballad. Like it more now. Maybe I’m a hater first time through. Save Me: only song I’m not a fan of completely, I think due to the register/timbre of the long “save me” lines. Doesn’t feel full like the rest.

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Wed May 12 2021
3

Groovy shit, kinda like a non depressed tracy chapman

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Fri Jan 07 2022
2

I feel bad giving this such a low score because there is nothing wrong with this, it's just simply not for me. Give this a listen if you like folky and mellow songs, but a 2/5 from me, somebody who finds this kind of music really boring.

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Wed Sep 23 2020
5

this was great; short but sweet

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Fri Nov 27 2020
5

Very good. Soulful and melodic, gives me a Janis Joplin vibe.

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Sun Jan 24 2021
5

Beautiful voice

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

She's so chill and fun! Like Joni Mitchell but more R and B

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

Really good album, never listened to her before

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

Funky

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Mon May 17 2021
5

This album S L A P S

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Sat Aug 07 2021
5

This was a nice and fun album. Her voice has a clarity and tonality that mixed with the positive lyrics and mellow music makes this very enjoyable.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
5

Really enjoyed

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Sat Sep 04 2021
5

Beautiful and relaxing

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Tue Sep 07 2021
5

What a voice and lyrics. Just fabulous

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Mon Sep 13 2021
5

Beautiful music. The instruments. Her voice. The lyrics.

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Wed Sep 29 2021
5

Fantastically great stuff.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

Vraiment aimé. Je ne connaissais pas sma j'ai ajouté à la bibliothèque 5

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

This has been a love affair for a long time.

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Sun Oct 17 2021
5

relaxing

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Sat Dec 04 2021
5

Great vocals

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

Listening to this album made me feel safe and happy

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

genius, strength, grace. 70's fun, emotional depth.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Kom mér virkilega á óvart. Þvílíkur snililngur. Hvar hefur þessi kona verið allt mitt líf.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

A classic I would ride to.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

Very much of its time.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

This is some stuff I can vibe with strongly. There is a ton of soul and it has a loving and cozy feel to it.

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

Cool fusion of pop, Blues, and jazz. Joan has a wonderful voice which is accompanied by some banging instrumentals

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Sat Mar 12 2022
5

😍 Loved it! Very balanced

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

A fine collection of songs.

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Mon May 09 2022
5

Dig this! Great jazz, good funk, great song writing. I'm thrilled to have found her. Want to hear more.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

I love her voice so much

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Thu Jun 09 2022
5

Lovely album, spent a lot of time listening to this in my youth.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
5

Good stuff! This is new to me. Excellent mix of funk, soul, blues, folk… Somewhere Tracy Chapman and Sly and the Family Stone. I’ll definitely listen to this again.

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Thu Jul 07 2022
5

Just stunning. Was not on my radar. It's like Tracy Chapman but a decade prior. Massive voice. All the marks of a real classic.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

Had never heard of this and now I am a big fan. What a great sound. Steel guitar solos, electric guitar, soulful vocals. Just great music.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

This is why i joined this program, to find gems like these. Didnt know who she was, or what i was walking into, but so glad i did. This is an epic blend of blues and 70s rock, with Joans super smooth and calming vocals, thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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Sat Aug 13 2022
5

Excellent

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

Really enjoyed the album, having never heard it or of Joan before. Down to Zero is a great jam!

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Sun Aug 28 2022
5

One of my favorite albums in college. To my great surprise, it sounds better now. A range of genres with incredible musicianship yield a tremendous listening adventure.

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Mon Sep 19 2022
5

Je ne la connaissais pas du tout. J’ai aimé toutes les chansons, j’adore la voix.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
5

Getting a lot of "early Tracy Chapman" crossover. Nice funk vibes, too.

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Sat Oct 22 2022
5

Tall in the saddle is a gem

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Sun Oct 30 2022
5

An absolute gem. This is the first album I got here that I had never heard at all, but I absolutely loved. Great songwriting, production, and performances. It has depth and soul and grooves.

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Mon Dec 12 2022
5

"Joan Armatrading" is the third studio album from British singer-songwriter and musician Joan Armatrading. This was her first self-penned album. It was produced by Glyn Johns who said this was the best album he had ever been associated with and he had worked with The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. The music is classified as folk rock and pop but also has elements of jazz, soul, funk, blues, country and R&B. Some of the backing bands members included those of Faiport Convention and Kenney Jones. An acoustic guitar and piano begin "Down to Zero." Joan's searing souful voice. A steel guitar comes in giving a country feel. The song actually sounds a little like one of her musucal influences, Van Morrison. A break-up song. Strings added to "Love and Affection" giving it a gorgeous and beautiful majestic atmosphere. Joan's emotional voice. The great backing vocals-gospel. Alto sax as the music builds. Outstanding lyrics: "I am not in love but I'm open to persuasion." "Join the Boys" swings between jazz with the piano and funk with the beat and organ. She wants someone but tells them to go the boys. Joan goes to a higher voice register on "Somebody Who Loves You." Acoustic guitar. Slow. At times almost easy jazz. A love song, sultry lyrics. The album ends with "Tall in the Saddle." A song which is jazzy and slow goes bluesy with a great guitar solo and finishes funky as the pace picks up. She had fun, fun, fun, with her lover but her lover needs to go. Another great song. This is an outstanding album. No weak songs and some songs transition within to different styles. Joan's great vocals and lyrics. The lyrics are more general and big pictures than storytelling. Great production. A tight band. A very high recommendation.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
5

Algjörlega vanmetin sem lagahöfundur og tónlistarkona. Frábær plata!

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Sat Dec 17 2022
5

How the hell had I never heard of her before? Her soulful vocals intertwined with a mix of soul, disco, folk, blues, and a little poppiness of the 70s is incredible. I ended up adding five of the ten songs on the album to my "liked songs" on Spotify, and I wouldn't go out of my way to avoid any of the other five. This is a really stellar album!

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Sat Jan 21 2023
5

Really liked this one. Great diversity in lyrics and sounds.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
4

Never heard this before…. One song was semi familiar. Really enjoyed it though. Soulful with good tunes!

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Not gonna lie, I was surprised by this one

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

Excellente chille muziek met prachtige stem.

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Surprisingly great album, liked the combination of voice and instruments, shows a great variety of genres and songs, without becoming too much

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Folksy, with depth. Really enjoyed the entire thing.

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Fri Apr 23 2021
4

Nice, mellow, soft rock. Reminds me of Carole King.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Good album, production value was pretty amazing

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Never knew this existed. Dug it

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Beautiful stuff

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Tue Feb 16 2021
4

I like the minimalistic feel of it. It's just a songer with her acoustic guitar and a bit of accompaniment but not too much. Very cool vibes that fit the lyrics very well.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

quite cool i’d say

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

somewhat mediocre and inconsistent buttttttt really liked the last song and she had a good voice

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Thu Feb 25 2021
4

Well that was nice!

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Genre-bending and before her time!

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Tue Feb 02 2021
4

Have always liked her voice and storytelling

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Great album. Unique blend of the sounds of the 70s. Not quite Joni Mitchell level of songwriting, but she has all the same skills. I enjoyed it!

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Thu May 13 2021
4

It is good!

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Fri Apr 16 2021
4

Le daré un 4 porque canta muy bien. No conocía ninguna de sus canciones.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

Very good

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

“Joan Armatrading” by Joan Armatrading (1976) With lyrics that are rich in passion, Armatrading inundates the listener with images that spring forth from particular moments of experience. She freezes emotional time. It’s as if she’s beginning to swoon, and an entire song issues forth in the brief instant that she’s falling to the floor. Makes you want to rush over and catch her before she hits the deck. Can’t help yourself. Powerful. Whether the feeling is anxiety (“People”), dejection (“Down to Zero”), panic (“Save Me”), apprehension (“Water with the Wine”), or longing (“Love and Affection”), she touches, grabs, pierces the heart. If you’re human. And, boys, she devastates your cockiness with both whimsy and panache in “Tall in the Saddle”. We are all suitably chastened. Here’s a sample (from “Somebody Who Loves You”): “Cozy corner your arms around you So tired of one night stands Left with longing from misspent passion With one more human to despise . . . “ Dancing between folk, funk, and jazz, she harnesses powerful alto vocal stylings (pleasantly croaky on the bottom) in company with sensitive arrangements, to serve up tasteful musical confections. Very nice acoustic stylings (especially on “Like Fire”). And has anyone ever sung the word “insane” (“People”) with greater fidelity? Shivers. This is music one should not listen to all day, but rather on well chosen melancholy occasions when you need to be reassured that in your yearning and pain, you’re not alone. 4/5

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Las negras pueden hacer mas cosas que soul.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

Very enjoyable.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

Enjoyable music

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Really like this - Such a nice voice and an awesome guiatar player. Love all of the strings involved. The Cello (I think??) on Love and Affection is soooo so good. Down To zero, Love and Affection, Like Fire were the big highlights

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

wasnt the sort of thing i usually listen to, but i enjoyed it. haven’t heard of this artist in the past but i might check out the rest of her discography.

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

Very nice and moody experience

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Sat Mar 06 2021
4

So lovely and warm. A gem

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Wed May 05 2021
4

I thought it was fun. Brummie queen as well 😍

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Mon May 03 2021
4

Listened to this while walking around the west end, it was so relaxing and chill, perfect walking soundtrack on a recently-wet now-sunny day. Bass was funky AF

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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

Really nice opening. Her voice is GORGE AHHHHH This is a 4 defo

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Down to zero - virkelig godt! Funket og rocket på samme tid. Help yourself - God produktion, originalt og meget harmonisk. Fed vokal. Water with wine - God produktion, trommerne svinger godt.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

Really good. Very original mix of folk,rock,funk,jazz etc.

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

She’s got a story and you know exactly how she’s feeling. She’s a bad bitch

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Thu Apr 29 2021
4

It's smooth like a wave. It also smacks you in the face like a wave

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Tapers off towards the end, powerful vocals and rhythms throughout

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Tue Jul 13 2021
4

Powerful voice and lovely guitar - A great album

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Will listen to again

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

The production, the band, and the songwriting are all superb on this album. It’s a shock that it came out in the mid-70s because it could easily come from the 90s or even today. For an artist I’ve never even heard of I enjoyed the hell out of this.

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Pretty chill jazzy background vibe

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Thu Jul 29 2021
4

Joan Armatrading's name was familiar, but I couldn't tell you if I've heard any of her music. "Love and Affection" is the track on this album that I've heard before. This was a good suggestion, and a solid album all the way through.

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Fri Jul 30 2021
4

Really pleasant, smooth vocals.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
4

Letting out plenty of data jarring moans, this one had plenty of smooth soul

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