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Wrecord Wrap: Joni Mitchell Plugged In Print-ready version

by Bill Becker
The Yell (UNLV)
April 11, 1973
Original article: PDF

Joni Mitchell, songbird, dynamic lyricist, poet, composer, clouds, roses, morning angel, lady, star, blue, green, California, sky, river, waitress, police, radio, electricity, blonde, groupie, moon, woman.

Joni Mitchell stands on a rock in a sea. Her nakedness leaves her unguarded. She's free. A person holds a camera directed at free and defenseless Joni. He takes pictures for her album jacket. FOR THE ROSES finds Joni still trying to add (plus) nature to (minus) reality and come out with a happy denominator.

"In some office sits a poet/ And he trembles as he sings/ And he asks some guy/ To circulate his soul around/ On your mark red ribbon runner/ The carressing [sic] rev of motors/ Finely tuned like fancy women/ ... Up the charts/ ... Everything's first class/ ... And it's just you.../ Getting them to feel like that..."

Joni doesn't write for us to understand. You have to be Joni to know Joni. But, once in a while she'll come across with a fantasy or a dream that we wont [sic] relate to but rather, steal from her.

"Oh I wish I had a river/ I could skate away on..."

She tends to propagate escapism more often than necessary. If she isn't fleeing from a mistake of love (as is the case in "River") she's returning to it.

"Oh starbright, starbright/ You've got the lovin' that I like, alright/ Turn this crazy bird around/ I shouldn't have gotten on this flight tonight."

Anyone who enjoys the poetic styling of Joni Mitchell knows that she's in a personal genre. Free verse correlates with freedom. The hard nouns that she uses from time to time are ammunition to combat reality against idyll. To use a bad phrase, she's trying to find an answer but, what's the question?

The lady from Canada is devoted to changing folk music from a sing-along joyous noise to a sound that says, listen and learn, then relax. Often, she crams a whole paragraph into one line with her tight-lunged vocals. She, like Dylan, is well interpreted by other artists. That is, if you're looking for a song. If you need the message, listen to Joni. If you haven't heard her, buy BLUE. It's an album that grows on you more rapidly than the others. If you know Joni already, or think you do, buy FOR THE ROSES. Then establish you're [sic] collection. Joni Mitchell has a devoted following. One either loves her albums (plus) or hates them (minus). That's alright.

She doesn't mind. It all works out.

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