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4.8 out of 5 stars66
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 May 2006
I love listening to this cd but find it difficult to understand what Joni is singing about at times,though,in fairness,she does say on the cover the ensemble should be a mystery that we have to untangle.This is a recording where the creative contributions of the other musicians were given equal priority to Joni's.

I would recommend it to anyone who likes music that can make you relax without putting you to sleep and something vibrant but not loud.I give it 5 stars even though I find it a little incomprehensible - it just sounds great!
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on 18 June 2013
By this stage Joni had completely abandoned her folk roots and decided that the jazz world was more to her liking. Her previous album, Court and Spark already included some jazz influenced songs which had alienated some of her folk fans. But she takes it even further here. Her voice is deeper, singing in contralto throughout. The whole album is excellent if somewhat morose at times, but there are 2 standout tracks for me. Edith And The Kingpin is a beautiful sultry and jazzy masterpiece of a song, undoubtedly one of her best. Another classic and unusual track is the closer Shadows And Light. Joni's voice is multitracked in choral harmony accompanying herself with sinister organ chords. It is slightly reminiscent of a Gregorian chant. Those who love Joni's famous 'Blue' album might find this one a lot harder to take, but as different as they are in style both are timeless musical gems.
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on 11 August 2014
The Hissing of Summer Lawns is the high water mark of popular music. I can say no more or less than that. No other album has come even remotely close to it in almost 40 years. I envy those who have yet to discover it. Enjoy!
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on 6 March 2013
THIS CD WAS UTTERLY,TOTALLY,UNARGUABLY,COMPLETELY,MAGNIFICENTLY SUPERB!
INDEED SO SUPERB WAS IT,IT WAS EVEN BEYOND ABSURD. IT WAS SUPER-SUPERB!
IT WAS? ... - S U P E R B ! !
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on 19 November 2014
The reviewer above who described this album as the high water mark of popular music had it just right. It doesn't get any better than this. Supreme musicianship, fantastic lyrics and at least five of the greatest songs ever recorded. As sophisticated as popular music could ever get, yet at no time too far removed from its roots, in turn soulful and jazzy. And within this career high for Joni Mitchell lies perhaps her greatest song, the utterly perfect The Boho Dance. I have loved this album since it came out and will never tire of it.
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on 9 April 2009
I had this album originally on vinyl in the 70's [still do] such good value from your website compared to HMV! Took me back to my wonderful youth!!
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on 26 March 2013
Jazzy, folksy, African fusion of rich tapestries of sound. Beautifully arranged, this album has been a favorite of mine for many years, with two of the most outstanding tracks, 'The Jungle Line' and 'Harry's House', almost dripping with feral emotion, topping an otherwise faultless album. If you've never heard a Joni Mitchell album in its entirety, you could do far worse than to start with this.
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on 28 June 2005
This has beent he first Joni Mitchell I've heard, I actually bought it just because I liked the title and the song titles.
In France They Kiss On Main Street is a very beautiful, cool jazzy summer afternoon lounge about, with fun lyrics and a cinematic coolness.
I can't bear the second track yet but the rest is excellent: even when individual songs are still indistinct to me the whole sound of the album and its atmosphere is very strong and irresistible.
I'm surprised no one else has mentioned the track Shades of Scarlet Conquering, which is quite exceptional, with a beautiful melody and lush chord sequences, as well as beautiful lyrics.
I'm excited to check out more Joni now...!
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on 3 January 2010
I have worn out the vinyl so finally got the CD, brilliant stuff, truly BRILLIANT!
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on 29 November 2013
Every Joni Mitchell fan has their favourite album and this is mine.I love it even more than "Blue". I've owned it on vinyl since its release in 1975 and now save it for times when I can turn off the lights and savour the stories she tells and the way she tells them.
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