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5.0 out of 5 stars
Blissful return of Joni Mitchell, 25 Sep 2007
The sparse, poetic, beautiful 'Shine' is Joni Mitchell's first album of new songs in almost a decade, and it does not disappoint.
Lyrically she is, as always, completely self-assured, the new songs ranking alongside such mid-1970's classics as 'Court and Spark' and 'Hejira', although the themes are very different; most of the songs here focus on environmental and political issues rather than the search for love. One of my favourite lyrics is from the title track:
'Shine on the pioneers
Those seekers of mental health
They travelled inward
Brilliant, and pure Joni.
Musically 'Shine' is a much sparser affair than anything we have seen from her in the 1980's and 1990's; most of the songs feature Joni herself on piano (and occasionally guitar), with ex-husband Larry Klein on bass and Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar. The result is that listening to the album is a much more intimate affair than anything she has done since her mid-1970's heyday.
'Shine' is a testimony to Joni Mitchell's unparelleled songwriting ability, and shows that she has certainly not run out of things to say. It sure is good to have her back.