It would appear that yet another of our precious few living musical legends is about to be taken from us. However, the predicament threatening to snuff out this artist's light is not death or disease; this performer is not fleeing the country to avoid arrest, nor has she lost her passion for her craft. No, the reason the world might be robbed of the continuing musical ingenuity of legendary singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, who has been quite clear in recent interviews about her intentions to retire, is her own feelings of disgust and alienation toward the music industry. As such, Mitchell's just-released new album Travelogue may be the last in a long, rich legacy of song.
Travelogue is a two-disc collection of Mitchell going back and revisiting songs from the entire span of her career, only this time with a full orchestra.
Released by the good folks at Nonesuch, Travelogue is certainly an enthralling, almost painfully beautiful sonic experience. Mitchell's voice has deepened over the years to the point where it sounds rather like a baritone saxophone with a well-worn reed, and the orchestrations (by Mitchell and Vince Mendoza) are alternately lovely and provocative.
Old-time fans may be thrown off by some of the new arrangements, but Mitchell certainly knows what she is doing. If Travelogue does turn out to be Joni Mitchell's final recording, it would surely be a pleasant enough finale. However, Mitchell has never really been out to be pleasant. Here's hoping she'll take her sentiments about the music industry and use them to try to change it - or at least write some new songs. The popular arts need her.
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Added to Library on December 19, 2017. (3308)
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