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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tip of the Iceberg!, 25 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Hits (Audio CD)
Joni Mitchell is one of the few late-20th-century artists to whom the term 'Musical Genius' can be reasonably attached. In the singer-songwriter genre, she is equalled only by Bob Dylan and there is one area, I would say, in which she steps past him - musical diversity.

That explains the above title. It is impossible not to give the work presented in 'Hits' five stars, because it is exceptional, but equally it seems futile to try and condense such a totally varied, (now) forty-year catalogue of work into 15 tracks in 80 minutes. To take Joni - album-wise - at her two extremes, there is the folk singer debuted in 'Song to a Seagull', with the soprano voice, the purposefully constructed melodies and the first-person emotional considerations, and then there is the experimental avant-gardist with 'her big toe stuck in the metaphorical lake of jazz' (to quote Joni herself) exposed in 'Mingus', and a great musical journey comes in between. So while this compilation covers perhaps her most accessible work and it's companion, 'Misses', gives a eclectic taste of her more ambitious output, Joni Mitchell is really an 'album' artist and to fully appreciate the extent of her musical brilliance it takes, as I said, more than 80 minutes, 15 tracks.

If however you are looking for her most accessible work or her most famous songs, or you are new to Joni, this is a good purchase - either this or the album 'Blue', which is one of those every-track-is-outstanding albums (it also happens to be one of the finest ever made).

Just remember, what you are listening to really is the tip of the iceberg. Sort of like reading the back blurb of a really outstanding book.

I once read something about Joni which described someone introducing themselves to her by saying, "I think you're one of the greatest female singer-songwriters of our time," and how did Joni react? - she walked away, vaguely annoyed. I think she was quite right to do that, I think there is unintended offense in that, and I think that when you listen to this CD (even if you don't go on to explore the rest of her catalogue, which you should) you will see why.

She is one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time, period. Gender doesn't come into it.

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely mindblowing, 2 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)
There are no words in the English language (I don't speak any other) to describe how utterly outstanding this album is. I just can't explain it. It's so unbelievably fantastic. I'm not worried how cliched this sounds - I'd put it up there as one of the greatest works of art (and that's not specific to music) produced in the late 20th century. I can't put it simpler; there's no way to avoid cliché when reviewing something this good.
It's almost as if Joni Mitchell took her soul, split into ten parts and put it on record. And she managed such a rare thing. She wrote ten songs which are not only incredibly accessible and so beautiful to hear (a long-winded way of saying they are insanely CATCHY) but which are also so deceptively complex, both melodically and lyrically. I can't imagine removing one of them, or adding to it in any way; the album exists as a perfect whole--this lady's soul wrapped up in ten tracks--and that is what makes it a masterpiece.
In pouring out her deepest emotions, she created a blueprint for the human soul and that's why it connects to so many people, three decades after its release. Buy it. I implore anyone who's looking for that level of depth you only find with a genius like this.
And I'll finish by saying this; every time I've looked at the reviews of this album here, it's been in the top 200 albums for sales rank. As I write this it's the 173rd best-selling album, and a few weeks ago it was the 62nd. Is that not incredible, nearly thirty five years after its release? Is that not encouragement enough? Is that not really saying something?

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