Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 19 November 2012
This was the first Joni Mitchell album I purchased and it pursuaded me to buy Court and Spark, which is another great and when I get the chance I'll certainly get more, because Joni has not dissapointed. The songs on here work beautifully together and really show off, not only Joni's wonderful, quirky vocals and instrumentation, proving that she is not only a talented singer, but a talented composer, not to mention a batch of great lyrics. There is a great sense of maturity and reflection to this album, which is perhaps why it is only relatable to those of that mindset. A lot of the songs hark back to personal times in Joni's past, leading many to see them as self-indulgent, but I would say that the ambiguity of the lyrics allows the listener to relate to Joni, making the album both personal for the listener and Mitchell, which makes you feel much more involved in the album as a whole.
The tone of the album is a mellow one, but that isn't to say that it is actually depressing. Of course it does have its lows, such as the stunning title track, All I Want, Case of You and The Last Time I Saw Richard, but these songs have a wonderful melody and are not depressing to listen to, because of the beautiful instrumentation. The piano intro of Richard is beautiful, as is that on Blue, which also has one of Mitchell's best vocal performances on the album. I also love the guitar work on Case of You, one of Mitchell's classic tracks.
There are on this album what I would call uplifting tracks, particularly, California and Carey, which are two of my personal favourates, particularly Carey, which has a very interesting story behind it too. There is also a clever piano chord in the song, River, which is reminiscent of Jingle Bells, as Mitchell begins her seasonal song that really displays some fantastic lyrics.
However, I will try to relate to why some people may not like this album. If you like albums where a lot happens, there is a really high brow, production with instruments coming in all directions, double tracked vocals and pulsating basslines and all that, then perhaps this album isn't for you. Mitchell uses Piano and Guitar very sparsely on this album and her vocals are kind of airy and distant. It is a very quite album which is great for reflection and perhaps suited to a maturer audience, although not necesserily (I'm 19) but still I would take this into consideration before purchasing this album.
None the less I beleive that this album is a masterpiece and one of many as far as Joni Mitchell is concerned. It's beauty lies in the raw beauty and passion with which Joni Mitchell sings and performs her music, which is forsaken these days for high production gloss and sheek synthisised sounds, not to mention auto-tuned vocals. This is a very human record and I think that any human being who has lived and experienced a lot in life will find something on this album with which they can relate to.