9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An album years ahead of its time,
This review is from: The Hissing Of Summer Lawns (Audio CD)
Joni fans tend to divide between those those that prefer the naked confessional of 'Blue' and those that regard the jazzy trio of mid-70s albums that comprise 'Court & Spark', 'The Hissing of Summer Lawns' and 'Hejira' to be her creative peak. I'm in the latter category.
I first heard this album in a musical instrument shop. they were playing 'Harry's House' and the line "A helicopter lands on the Pan-Am roof like a dragonfly on a tomb" caused me to ask the staff what it was. Joni's lyrics are cinematic - like little movie pitches - and beautifully evocative of that period. That track and the album's title investigate the dark side of the suburban dream, set to cool jazzy accompaniment that will make everything else you listen to sound crude.
Elsewhere 'The Jungle Line' discovers Burundi drums a good five years before Adam Ant. 'Edith and The Kingpin' has luscious orchestration that seems to literally seduce you and the multi-layered harmonies of 'Shadows & Light' indicate an artist that is at the peak of her game.
The fact that this got lukewarm reviews on its release either shows how clueless some journalists can be or demonstrates how far ahead Joni was. An astonishingly good album.