Lovers Speak [Bonus Track]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Born in the West Indies and raised in England, singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading established herself as one of pop music's singular voices with spunky hits like 1976's "Love and Affection" and 1980's "Me Myself I," and provided a template for singer-songwriters from Tracy Chapman to Chrissie Hynde. With the self-produced Lovers Speak, Armatrading breaks an eight-year silence, returning with a confident, understated album that spotlights the depth of her voice and verse. Boasting a gentler sound than her best-known works, Lovers Speak casts Armatrading's latest batch of songs in simple but effective arrangements rich with piano, acoustic guitar, and discreet rhythms....
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Born in the West Indies and raised in England, singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading established herself as one of pop music's singular voices with spunky hits like 1976's "Love and Affection" and 1980's "Me Myself I," and provided a template for singer-songwriters from Tracy Chapman to Chrissie Hynde. With the self-produced Lovers Speak, Armatrading breaks an eight-year silence, returning with a confident, understated album that spotlights the depth of her voice and verse. Boasting a gentler sound than her best-known works, Lovers Speak casts Armatrading's latest batch of songs in simple but effective arrangements rich with piano, acoustic guitar, and discreet rhythms. But that's all just a backdrop for her soulful vocals, which soar on the buoyant title track, the chiming "Ocean," and the poignant ballad "Less Happy More Often." Armatrading focuses on poetic dissections of relationships, from the spirited celebration "Let's Talk About Us" to the prayerlike "In These Times," in which she suggests that in such an unsettled world we should "be thankful of all the days we can spend together." Elsewhere, the lively singer can't contain her energy on songs about relationships that are disconnected ("Physical Pain") or about to connect ("Waiting"). On the bright, jazzy "Love Bug" she invites a brass section to invigorate the arrangement, providing a nice contrast to this personal and personable collection of resounding folk-pop.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
When an artist releases something as profoundly moving as Lovers Speak, critical acumen doesn't mean a damned thing. Joan Armatrading's first album proper in five years is a startling testament of artistic integrity, searing emotional honesty, and musical accessibility and sophistication that is literally unmatched by anything on the current musical scene. In fact, the only comparable album from 2003 is Annie Lennox's Bare. But where the latter is an album of confessions and exorcism, Lovers Speak is an unflinching look at the language of love from all sides. It is an investigation into the experience of love, its languishing and loss, and the redemption it is capable of rewarding to those who persevere and refine themselves through heartache and acceptance and tolerance. For starters, Armatrading, who has been known to consort with producers like Steve Lillywhite and experiment radically with song forms, decided to bear the weight of her own production in the chair and on the floor: she arranged and played everything herself. It's as if the emotional and physical and spiritual states explored here are so personal, so full of instruction and transcendence for the artist, that she had to carry them all upon her back as they flowed from her pen, hands, and heart, giving them utterance in the grain of her voice. The title track speaks of the symbolic and actual language of love as if it is a series of mysteries that can only be translated and exchanged among those who participate. "Physical Pain" is a ballad that assumes the consequences for telling lies in the space of love. One can easily picture Peter Gabriel recording this for the Us album. The asymmetrical polyrhythms in Armatrading's guitar playing propel a piano and organic percussion into an anthem that offers the truth of instant karma. "In These Times" is the darker side of John Lennon's "Imagine"; it is just as spare, with piano, bass, and strings accompanying the ache in Armatrading's lyrics and delivery. It is easy to imagine Gabriel recording this song as well. "Waiting" is the most desperate folk song ever written about being the one left, all night, alone, while the beloved is adrift in the sea of night. The dawn comes cold, slow, and gray, turning the protagonist from the angry to the worried to the lovesick. "Prove Yourself" is almost a country-rock song, and is the only sensible update to Bob Dylan's "Forever Young." The album goes on like this for 14 tracks, turning over and in on itself with gorgeous pop, folk, and jazz forms interstitially lacing, crisscrossing, and blending as the emotions so contradictory and tempestuous assuage, confront, and caress one another. But as the album closes with "Blessed," the underlying theme is the gratitude to feel at all in a time when emotion is snuffed out in favor of production, loss, grief, and rage; the simple fact that one is breathing and able to experience what is placed in the path is reason enough to live, and yes, to continue to try to love once more. Lovers Speak, in all its eclectic, musical, and lyrical diversity, is poetry of function and form -- a masterpiece that belongs at the very top of her shelf and should be a contender for pop album of 2003. [This version of the album includes bonus material.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/5/2005
  • Label: Prism Platinum
  • EAN: 5014293131421
  • Catalog Number: 1314

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lovers Speak (5:49)
  2. 2 Physical Pain (3:23)
  3. 3 In These Times (3:12)
  4. 4 Waiting (2:48)
  5. 5 Prove Yourself (3:33)
  6. 6 Fire and Ice (3:25)
  7. 7 Love Bug (3:14)
  8. 8 Let's Talk About Us (3:58)
  9. 9 Ocean (3:24)
  10. 10 Tender Trap (4:10)
  11. 11 Less Happy More Often (3:53)
  12. 12 Crazy for You (4:08)
  13. 13 You Made Your Bed (3:54)
  14. 14 Blessed (1:44)
  15. 15 Lover Speak (3:32)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joan Armatrading Primary Artist, Vocals
Miles Bould Percussion, Drums
Luke Tunney Trumpet, Horn Section
Uncle Dave Lewis Saxophone
Technical Credits
Joan Armatrading Arranger, Composer, Producer, Instrumentation
Graham Dickson Engineer
Michael Heatley Liner Notes
J.J. Stelmach Art Direction
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