THE HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS. Joni Mitchell. Asylum
Joni Mitchell has been threatening a total disaster like this for so long that it's almost a relief that she finally produced it. This is her "Artistic Statement" record in much the same way that "Astral Weeks" is Van Morrison's. The biggest difference is that where Morrison conjures up romantic ambiguity, Mitchell only conjures overweight verbosity. The other, more subtle difference is that Morrison's musicians on "Weeks," Richard Davis, Jay Berliner, John Payne, and Connie Kay created dark, brooding, sinuous textures to accompany the singer's poetic ramblings. "Hissing" has Tom Scott and The Crusaders rummaging through their most tiresome funkifized noodlings. The results are predictable despairing.
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