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A Beginning / An Ending (Or Something In-Between )?,
This review is from: Shine (Audio CD)
A little late in the day to be sure sure but with good reason.
I wasn't sure I wanted to hear it but having bought the album
it then took me a good year to absorb its' wily charms.
'Shine' is a conceit of a sort you see.
The languidly marvelous orchestral excesses of'Both Sides Now' (2000)
and 'Travelogue' (2002) notwithstanding it has been almost
a decade since the last recording of new and original material and
'Taming The Tiger' (1998) could never be seen to have been a high point
in Ms Mitchell's long and illustrious career.
Having 'retired' from the business of strumming and singing in
2002 her muse lay dormant for a while but we can be glad that
she has set her paintbrushes aside and that those deep, dark internal
stirrings have once again percolated slowly to the surface in the shape
of 'Shine' - a late autumnal flowering and a far more worthy testimony
to the strange genius of one of the greatest writer/performers ever to
have blessed both our ears and our lives.
'Shine' is a very precious thing indeed.
Ten tracks - Eight new songs, an instrumental overture and one
canny reworking. Coming in at a little under 50 minutes the album
displays neither economy nor excess. Everything feels as if it is
in its' rightful place.
Environmental Destruction ( 'This Place' ); War ( 'If I Had A Heart' &
'Strong and Wrong' ) and Hope ( 'Shine' and 'If' ). Big Themes.
These compositions rank with the very finest she has produced.
The shuffling latin rhythm of 'Hana' ( a close musical cousin
to 1991's 'Cherokee Louise' );
the spare pathos and beauty of 'Bad Dreams';
the exotic, energizing grandeur of 'Night Of The Iguana';
the luminous relevance of 'Big Yellow Taxi' undimmed and undeterred.
Title track 'Shine' is nothing less than sublime.
This great lady's music had formed an important part of the soundtrack
to my life ( many of our lives very probably! ).
This latest installment represents a magisterial return to form.
Perhaps it may be too much to hope for further chapters
but we, like she, should always live with hope.