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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
121
4.8 out of 5 stars
Hejira
Format: MP3 Download|Change
Price:£6.99


on 10 November 2016
she should get the nobel prize like dylan!
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on 12 October 2017
Good record
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on 30 August 2017
Excellent
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on 7 September 2017
good old tunes from the past.
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on 27 March 2017
Fast delivery and great product. Of course it is. It's Joni Mitchell.
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on 26 July 2017
As ever Joni does her thing
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on 13 October 2017
Arrived promptly and enjoying this as such a great album
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on 27 April 2017
Great!
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on 4 January 2013
I am basing my views on this review on all of Joni's albums from Blue to Hejira, the latter which I believe to be Mitchell's most ambitious work yet. When I first listened to Hejira I will admit I was kind of underwhelmed, but willing to give the album a chance and I am glad I did because now the whole album stands out and each track shines strongly with none really surpassing the other in greatness with the exception perhaps of A Song For Sharon.

The feel of the album is quite mellow, with the songs following no set structure, which allows Joni to really show off her best storytelling lyrics yet. Joni's voice is also more mature here and less high pitched than on her earlier works; she has much more control and to me, this album demonstrates some of her best and certainly mature vocals. The instrumentation is centred around jangly guitars and there are no piano led songs to be found. Each of the songs seem to flow along together very smoothly, most of them with fading outros which really helps give the feel of travelling along winding, ceasless roads and feeling melancholy and reflective. Such feelings are abundant in this album in particular though it is much more subtle than on albums such as Blue.

Subtlety is really what makes this album works and I believe that it is listening to the subtle instrumentation in the free-form song structures that really brings the album to life. Hejira is a high-point for Joni not just vocally and lyrically but also musically. Every song on here has a great backing courtesy of Mitchell and her band, who aren't afraid to create some challenging soundscapes that demand attention. This is an album that requires focus and understanding due to it's lack of superficial hooks and melodies that Joni used on albums like Court and Spark and even Hissng of Summer Lawns to an extent.

I don't think you can really review the songs individually because this is the kind of album that really has to be viewed as a whole, which was probably why it yeilded no singles. Still, many regard A Song For Sharon as the album's centerpiece and rightly so. Joni's backing vocals are haunting, the story is beautiful and the hint of subtle jazz makes it as catchy and smooth as any hook-riddled pop tune, although this has none in the traditional sense. Black Crow is another standout, being the only out-right rock orientated track on the song, useful because it stops the flow of the album from becoming too monotonous, especially because none of the tracks fall below the four minute mark and the majority are above five. My personal favourites are Blue Motel Room, a Jazz-inspired track that has so much cool and mellow beauty that I find myself constantly returning to it. Finally, the title track itself maintains for me, one of the best intros with those wonderfully jangling guitars and another great story from Mitchell.

Having said all of this, Hejira is perhaps not the type of album for a casual Joni Mitchell fan or someone who hasn't got any of her albums. For those people, Court and Spark may be a better start, or Blue perhaps. Those who prefer her more experimental phase that began with Summer Lawns will possibly find this a more appealing listen. It is unfortunate that Joni is not particularly remembered for these later 70's works because these albums, Hejira and particular showcase a much more mature singer with her strongest lyrics and some really challenging instrumentation to back it all up. I just hope Juan Juan's Reckless Daughter is just as good.
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on 30 April 2002
I first heard this album in 1977 and I feel privaliged to have heard it at the time. What this album would sound like now if I heard it for the first time, I don't know, but one thing is certain for me, this is one of the best albums from that golden age of music(1965-1980) and probably in the top ten (if you like lists). I agree with the other reviewers that the musician ship and rare beauty of the lyrics are almost unsurpassed. Amelia and Song For Sharon are without peers. The lyrics are poetic and the music spacious yet lean with a slight jazzy hint from the fretless bass. Sadly Jaco Pastorious (Bass) was killed in Forida not so long ago and this album is a showcase for his work too. I am surprised that more people do not rate this as their favourite Joni Mitchell, but in fairness to them, a word of caution, it is a little unusual and takes some getting into and it is to an extent a "musicians" album. I'd also recommend Don Juans Reckless Daughter, though it is slightly less accessible, but of the same period and style.
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