Top positive review
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Strongest late period album from Mitchell
on 24 March 2017
Undoubtedly to my mind this is Joni's best album of her four for Geffen and my personal favourite from her later period. Joni's marriage to Larry Klein had seen her develop a Rock theme, but by the time of Night Ride Home there was strain in the relationship, and whilst Klein features prominently on the album and shared production duties it marks a return to the more traditional singer-songwriter mode. Yes, a band often appears but the backing is much more muted, playing a support role to Mitchell's guitar or piano rather than being front and centre as in her first three Geffen efforts. It's a familiar Mitchell stylistically with beautiful guitar work on title track 'Night Ride Home' which opens the album. There's lovely, joyous, whistful looks back on 'Ray's Dad's Cadillac', 'Come In From The Cold' and 'The Only Joy In Town', and contemplation on closer 'Two Grey Rooms' and here it seems you are being given a window into Joni's personality. However there's a developing sense of rallying against injustice particularly in 'Cherokee Louise' and 'Passion Play' which is one of the album's highlights.
This is a very strong album, in my opinion Joni's best since "Hejira" and with the depth of the lyrics and musicianship I'd have no hesitation pointing anyone looking to investigate Mitchell's work a little deeper to this album