Joni Mitchell's attempt at blending Jazz with folk-rock on her new double album is static and uneven. A new and welcome step in her career is taken here with the improvement of the artistic quality of her background music. The result is richer sound, with more depth and orchestration.
Although Mitchell's new album lacks the obvious commercial accessibility of last year's platinum Hejira, several songs are short and sweet. "Off Night Backstreet," a potential single, features background harmony by J.D. Souther and Glenn Frey. The title cut is another cerebral ballad with thought provoking lyrics.
Mitchell economizes on the needless filler songs which blemish many double lp's [sic]. The quality of the arrangements vary with each song, giving the listener a diverse selection of style to choose from among the four album sides. Though two sides are similar to other albums she has done, one side offers a well conceived sixteen minute jazz-rock song, and another side blends a topical love ballad with a latin [sic] instrumental.
Joni Mitchell seems to be growing as an artist, and if she hasn't found her exact musical formula yet, she has added a richer sound to an already proven product.
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