Even though avant-pop diva Joni Mitchell and musical director Larry Klein are claiming that Travelogue is not a "greatest hits with orchestra" project, that's essentially what it is. But since Mitchell doesn't have enough bona fide chart smashes to fill up the two discs, she revisits many of her less familiar compositions from the past. Yet it's not merely a matter of adding a bit of string embellishment. The songs are actually completely overhauled -- not overblown -- with the assistance of impeccably tasteful arranger Vince Mendoza, reflecting Mitchell's reinterpretation of her sometimes strangely prescient lyrics with the benefit of some 30 years' worth of hindsight. As Travelogue unfolds, you soon realize it's an immense piece of work that Mitchell pulls off with typical panache. TP
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