Some great songs
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no absolute standard to judge music by, but if there were, Joan Armatrading would pass the test triumphantly. Listen to The Weakness In Me, the mother of all ballads. Or to more up tempo songs like When I Get It Right and I Can't Lie To Myself. Great voice, great melodies, great everything. She's the boss."
The songwriters songwriter at her best
Valerie K. Miller | South Bend, In | 08/09/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's so sad to see only a few reviews sitting under this record. Joan is perhaps the best female singer/songwriter to emerge from the embattled seventies-while most sultry, authoratative voices were pumping out trashy disco romps, Joan was busy singing about real life. Her prolific career has now spanned over 30 years and has amassed a rabidly loyal fan base. Yet Joan never "popped." Not to sound like a music snot, but it takes a truly fine ear to appreciate what she's trying to do. Her lyrics and arrangements are always fresh (unlike some of her talented but somewhat shallow folk rock sisters) and even when dealing with tender subject matter, her songs cut to the bone. Her music either takes your breath away with it's directness or the clever use of metaphor that belies her history as a former aspiring fiction writer. Her voice! I just can't say enough about this woman...
But this record is perhaps my favorite and in my opinion, the one to start with if you are new to the wonderful land of Joan. It contains her torch song, the unforgettable "weakness in me" but it also has the title song "walk under ladders"-a song that approaches the giddy, immortal attitude of new love like no other and the witty and indignant "when i get it right" that speaks with honesty about trying and failing to fit into the boxes other people create for you.
I will warn you: this is not tracey chapman or melissa ethridge or ani difranco or indigo girls or dar williams. this is joan and she sounds only like herself. So if you are looking for a copycat of the above artists or traditional folk sensibility, keep looking. And, because this record is 30 years old or so, it does have some casio/horn parts that may sound a tad dated to younger than 30 ears. Like I said, She never just hung out with the same acoustic guitar and three chords and thus some things that were innovative at the time of recording may not sound that way now. But I'm 27 and I never tire of this record. And I've been listening to it since I was 4 with my mom, the eternal joan fan.
So-stop being in the dark about Joan. Buy this record!~"