Now 54, Joni Mitchell stands above and beyond the fray she once did so much to influence. "I'm a runaway from the record biz," she sings on the title track of Taming The Tiger, in which she she betrays her weariness with a world that has grown alien to hersophisticated tastes: "Formula music/ girlie guile/ genuine junkfood for juveniles".
Removed from such clamorous affairs, the grande dame of the singer songwriter tendency nowadays prefers to harness her lyrics to fluid osng strucures discreetly coaxed from dappled instrumental textures, the most distinctive being the jazzy saxophonist Wayne Shorter.
While the net result errs musically toward the sedate, Mitchell's songs are still, apparently, a rigorous reflection of her feelings, the most revealing being her commentary on the difficulties and joys of conducting a middle-aged love affair: "Time moves swift/ And you know happiness is the best facelift."
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