Date: 1 April 1985
Originally published in: Algemeen Dagblad (Netherlands)
Written by: David Kleijwegt
ROTTERDAM — Two special ladies from the international pop world were heard and seen on Dutch stages last weekend. Joan Armatrading gave a concert in the Rotterdam Sportpaleis Ahoy’, and Kim Wilde performed in the Congresgebouw in The Hague. In fact, these two singers are perfect opposites: the black Joan Armatrading from the Caribbean with her sensitive, introverted music, and the white English Kim Wilde with her teenage romance. The audience they attracted was completely different. Coaching Almost nothing matched what was offered either. The accompaniment group of Joan Armatrading did not exceed average on many levels. But what do you want if you, as a musician, have to endure a comparison with people like Pino Paladino (Paul Young’s bassist), Mel Gaynor (the drummer of the Simple Minds), and Joe Jackson. They all play on Joan Armatrading’s latest album Secret Secrets. The less conspicuous accompaniment gave the singer the opportunity to optimally exploit her vocal possibilities. Its somewhat shy and As a result, a shy person took center stage. This greatly enhanced her appearance and in this way she made the audience outstanding. The sensitivity of her repertoire was best expressed in the quiet songs, culminating in Love by you from her latest album. What remains besides these songs are mixtures of rock, soul, folk, jazz and reggae that are all very well put together and in some cases not weaned are of possibilities to become a hit, such as the new single Temptation, Me, myself, I and her anthem Show some emotion.
Puppet Kim Wilde, however, will only have to rely on her hits, those are catchy songs from the hit factory of Rick and Marti Wilde, which to sell the puppet Kim to the general public. Kim Wilde’s records consist of nothing but those two or three popular re songs with some leftover material. Overall not that exciting. Kim Wilde’s backing band was below average: they ruined recent singles such as The touch and The second time by quite a bit of guitar violence. The little subtlety that Kim Wilde’s songs possess disappeared with this and made it happens quite one sided. The drummer also had to insert a completely unnecessary, wrong drum solo if necessary, which interrupted the charts of fashion doll Wilde. Only the nightclub jazz-based songs like Love Blonde and the latest single Rage to love and the unbreakable Cambodia remained standing in the Powerpop line-up, The choice between the two seems easy to me. Play Joan Armatrading’s records and keep an eye out for Kim Wilde’s singles. The covers of her records will certainly look nice on the wall.