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I'd never really heard much Joni Mitchell beyond Big Yellow Taxi so thought I'd try this, as it often pops up in Best lists. I've tried it many times now, and I just can't see what all the fuss is about. I wonder what mood someone must be in to listen to her. The 'melodies' are all over the stave and the high-pitched screeching grates. It ism't music to relax to, it isn't particularly contemplative, and it certainly isn't uplifting or fun (in fairness, an album entitled Blue probably isn't intended to be).
Sublime, from a story teller par excellence. Vinyl 180g, if you are have this on another format and like me are reconnecting with viynl and looking at this then just but it, its excellent. If you are buying this unheard then I almost envy you, this is a seminal work not just of mitchell, a genre or an era but of human creative achievement. Turn it on, turn up, open your ears and prepare to have your emotions put through the roller coaster of life and love.
There really isn't anything this humble reviewer can say about this album that hasn't already been said at length elsewhere – this is simply one of the most important recordings in Mitchell's discography and has – of course – been a hugely influential album – that's an inarguable matter of fact. The songs are beautifully crafted and performed; moving, lyrical, deep, joyful – feel free to add your own superlatives – these get into one's head, heart and bloodstream and believe me, as one gets older they become even more meaningful. One always allows for personal tastes, but I genuinely feel sorry for those few reviewers who can't appreciate what they're listening to. I have the Reprise HDCD remastered edition of the album and the sound quality is excellent; the album is only some 36 minutes long, lyrics are provided in the album notes.
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.
Such wisdom and maturity. Uplifting and heart wrenching. A multi talented instrumentalist, one of the great voices. Green is a poem from the heart to her daughter given up for adoption. Blue, both the track and the album are rightly admired. From Elvis Costello to Rolling Stone.