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Show Some Emotion (Digitally Remastered)

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Album Review

Retaining producer Glyn Johns and some of the same session players from her last record, Show Some Emotion repeated that album's chart success and included two more terrific singles in the same vein: "Show Some Emotion" and "Willow." However, the rest of the album sounds like outtakes from that effort. Gone is the smooth, honeyfied flow of Joan Armatrading; the lyrics seem to lack a sense of meter, the songs occasionally rely on pedestrian R&B arrangements to move them along, and the buoyant melodies are few and far between. Part of the problem stems from poor track placement; the vulnerable "Woncha Come on Home," which would have worked well at the end of side one or two, is an awful choice as the opening track. Placing the similar-sounding "Mama Mercy" and "Get in the Sun" next to each other suggests that Armatrading even had trouble coming up with filler, and waiting until the end of the album to unleash the energetic "Kissin' and a Huggin'" leaves the listener all charged up for nothing. While the title track and "Willow" are good enough to justify the album purchase alone, they're available on any number of compilations. Without them, Show Some Emotion lacks any must-own material, although the aptly titled "Warm Love," "Kissin' and a Huggin'," and the compelling "Opportunity" are worth hearing. Overall, this feels like a step back after her last effort. The fine voice and smattering of rock, jazz, and island melodies place it as vintage Joan Armatrading, but the material is a cut below her better work.

Customer Reviews

PERFECT Follow-up!

What's up with that iTunes review above??? When all a reviewer can complain about is the track listing... and some of the songs sound like outtakes from her classic "debut" album, they are being too nit picky! This is by far one of the best sophmore releases of all time. I first got into JA during the Walk Under Ladders release. I soon dove into her prior releases and I remember liking Show Some Emotion better than Joan Armatring as a whole. I think the track listing makes perfect sense, and Woncha Come On Home a nice opening track. As far as sounding like outtakes, Never Is Too Late hints at songs to come... like He Wants Her and I Can't Lie To Myself. Sure, Show Some Emotion and Willow are available on other best of collections... But I prefer to hear them in their context. Buying just 2 tracks from this cd is like only reading the 2 best chapters of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Great, authentic music

I must disagree with the "official" review. This album is great!

A Great Album

I also disagree with the "Official" review. I things the review says are weakness, I think are strengths and vice versa. True some songs are better than others, but I like how they all fit together. That's why I preferred this to a compilation. However there is one song I really don't like (so I did not buy it): I find the lyrics on "Opportunity" to be pretty silly.


Born: December 9, 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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