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Truly great - arguably her best album
on 13 October 2012
'For the Roses' was Joni's next release after her legendary confessional album 'Blue'. After the time in Greece that had yielded Blue, she went to Canada's Pacific coast, where she lived alone in an isolated cottage and wrote about her surroundings and her reflections on the life she'd (temporarily) left behind in California. For the Roses is about nature, the sea ("love to see that green water in motion"), her childhood in Canada ("Mama let go now"). It contains her most perfect pop song (Barangrill, 2:52 on fame and "the crazy you get from too much choice"), plus a song she wrote specifically to get radio plays ("You turn me on, I'm a radio"). There's also the sublime, dreamy "Woman of Heart and Mind", plus a bittersweet song about rock star infidelity ("you can't hold the hand of a rock and roll man"), and an empathetic song about a man facing divorce ("it just don't do it, like the song of a warm, warm body loving your touch"). There isn't a bad, or even average, track on it.
For me, this is Joni's best album; she covers such a range of subjects, the songs are so beautiful, the performances so great. It's in amongst a series of great albums she made in this period of her career, and it's worth hearing them all. However if you only buy one Joni Mitchell CD, this is the one to get.