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Album Review

Soulful English singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading spent her last two outings, 2007's rootsy, Grammy Award-nominated Into the Blues and 2010's propulsive, electrified This Charming Life, testing the boundaries of the genre, channeling both the acoustic and electric histories of the blues with equal parts wit, warmth, and wildness. Released in 2013, Starlight serves as a jazz-centric complement to those two releases, offering up a luxurious set of new originals — like "Single Life," "The Way I Think of You," "Always on My Mind," and the buttery title cut, all of which find Armatrading handling each and every instrument — that skillfully bridges the gap between the smooth folk-pop of Show Some Emotion, the amorous candor of Lover's Speak, and the evocative cool of the aforementioned Into the Blues.

Customer Reviews

Erm are you sure Joan?

I have been a fan of Joan since 1976 and absolutely love her music. I have every single album she has ever made. And duly like a true fan I bought the new album before listening to anything as I knew Joan would deliver quality. However, I then listened to Starlight in it's entirety and all I can say afterwards is "What the hell were you thinking Joan?" Ok I'm not a great jazz fan but even so, this just seems like something she just cobbled together over a weekend. Even the lyrics, which in the past have held me transfixed by their brilliance, are missing, with seemingly too many words trying to be crammed into each line.

All I can say is I am truly disappointed with this offering and can only hope that Joan returns to her acoustic roots for her next album and stops mucking about with this sort of fare which does not do her justice. The only reason I can see for lifelong fans to buy this album is for completeness of their collection. It really makes me sad to have to write this review. Joan you are so much better than this below average album.


Joan Armatrading, what a talent. I was a huge fan in 70’s and the 80’s.
However, with the Into the Blues album, I rediscovered her ever changing Music.
It was no surprise to me that with this new album, Starlight, she had come again with another fresh and current Armajazz feel. From Track 1, I was hooked. All the songs have such space for the vocals, what a voice! Since Into The Blues I have always watched out for her albums as every release has gems that are destined to become classic Armatrading. On this album the tracks “Tell Me”, “Starlight” and the mesmerising “Summer Kisses”, are a few of the songs which I think will become live classics as well. Love it.

Just didn't do it for me

As a fan of Joan and her keenly observed lyrics and well thought out melodies I was looking forward to a new album, sadly this jazz influenced offering leaves me cold, it' may be a personal dislike for jazz that dictates my response, however I feel that it does sound like it was hurried and with very little passion to hold it together. Sad to have to say this about one of the UK's greatest singer/songwriters.


Born: 09 December 1950 in Basseterre, St. Kitts

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in 1950 on the island of St. Kitts, Joan Armatrading was her country's -- as well as Britain's -- first female to gain international success as a singer/songwriter. Spicing her take on folk with elements of rock, blues, and jazz, she has had a remarkably long, consistent career. Armatrading immigrated to England in 1958 and began writing songs six years later. In 1970, she met lyricist Pam Nestor, and the two began collaborating on material later featured on Armatrading's 1972 debut, Whatever's...
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