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'Clouds' has some wonderful songs about optimism and sadness
on 20 February 2001
'Clouds' by Joni Mitchell, is an album of melancholy and disillusionment of new hope and joy. With some characteristically beautiful melodies and lyrics, it is from a time before 'Blue' and widespread success. The album begins slowly with the melancholy 'Tin Angel', where she declares "I found someone to love today". Then skips into the sunshine of 'Chelsea Morning' in a perfect celebration of the joy of life. But straight after, the beautiful sadness returns in 'I Don't Know Where I Stand'. Mitchell's voice drifts angelically over each note of this song and into the wonderful 'That Song About the Midway'. The tone grows much darker with the haunting 'Roses Blue'. The songs which follow are lighter and pure joy to listen to, however sad the story of 'The Gallery' is. Though 'Songs to Ageing Children Come' seems a bit out of date and out of place now, 'The Fiddle and the Drum', as an a cappella plea for peace still seems relevant. The well known 'Both Sides Now' ends the album. It reflects the mood of the other songs. There is a sadness that we have to give up a naive view of the world in adulthood when experience causes us to become disillusioned. But it also sums up what is beautiful about life and what still gives us hope. In the end, 'Clouds' leaves you with a sense of subdued optimism and with an appreciation for its exquisitely crafted songs.