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This Charming Life (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

Joan Armatrading is a British singer-songwriter who has received excellent reviews but never the commercial reception that her music deserves. On 2010’s This Charming Life, Armatrading plays all the instruments herself (with the exception of drums, handled by Miles Bould). Curiously, it’s her hardest rocking album in years, featuring intense guitar solos and aggressive tempos. The title track begins with sweetness before expanding into a full “band” attack. “Love Love Love” features Armatrading fast-talking her way past the romantic land mines with backing vocals that support (and mock?). “Two Tears” puts up a tough front, a tight, driving backbeat and warmly, distorted guitars to mend a broken heart. The jigsaw blues of “Heading Back to New York City” struts with a defiance and toughness that would make Mick Jagger blush. On her 20th album, Joan Armatrading proves she hasn’t lost an ounce of fire. Nearly thirty years later, she sounds completely engaged with her music. The urgency remains.

Customer Reviews

Consistently one of the greats

Joan has been creating first class pop/rock for more years than i can remember - and This Charming Life is really spectacular. Many of today's singer/songwriters can only hope for the kind of career and string of truly remarkable music over such an extended period. And if i don't hear 'This Charming Life' on the radio soon ( and often ) it'll be a sin! Great songs from a classic artist!

Queen Supreme

Joan Armatrading never stops growing as a performer. From the opening title track you will be won over. I like that she has moved from the sparer instrumentation and of some of her recent releases "Lover's Speak" to a more elaborate outing. And her voice-just get's better with age. Damn can she rock.

Back to basics and brilliant

Harkening back to her roots Joan finally delivers an album that reminds us why we remain tried, true and tested fans. The past years have been inconsistent as she experimented with new sounds and themes. This album shows us she has figured out how to meld the new and the old into a sound that satisfies the soul. If a tour results from this offering we hope she brings it to us with a demeanor suiting this collection, leaving past tour crankiness and coldness behind.


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...
Full Bio