The literary classics endure the test of time because of the universal nature of the human condition; the great works address these tender truths in a timeless way. Pop culture rarely has a claim to this type of insight, but " Blue" raised the stakes for what a singer/songwriter could accomplish.
To begin, the record is obviously a 180 degree look at a life that has had its share of joy and pain, producing an effort that allows the listener to see the artist, but also see him/herself. The journey begins with the giddy optimism of " All I Want"; the middle eloquently details "Blue", the state of being and the torment of distructive love, a condition most have suffered. The end brings a sense of renewal, imploring "Richard" to see a dark time as a phase as opposed to a fate. In the interim we get to travel to far flung places ( " Carey"), wistfully long for home ( " California") and reflect on treasures lost and found ( " River"). One has to be moved by "Blue", even with the hipster inspired vernacular found in some of the lyrics. Mitchell's three octave range is best used in this release as well, a feature seemingly elusive in later work.
It is understandable why Ms. Mitchell would be disappointed when people fail to respond to her more profound observations; however, "Blue" draws because of the confession that any of us could make, although in a less poetic manner. " Blue" stands the test of time because it seeps from the human heart, straight into one's speakers.