Joan Armatrading

Starlight

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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.

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