After her largely overlooked last release of original material, 1998's Taming The Tiger, Joni Mitchell goes in a completely different and surprising direction.
One of Canada's most beloved singer-songwriters takes a crack at a torch song cover album, plus a remake of her own title track and A Case Of You, from 1972's Blue, and it completely suits her scratchy, deep and low-key delivery.
In stores Tuesday, this 12-song collection is filled out by the 71-piece London Symphony Orchestra and co-produced by Mitchell and her longtime collaborator and ex-husband, Larry Klein.
I would have sooner heard Mitchell sing these songs with just a stripped-down jazz band, a la Diana Krall, however.
As it stands, this concept album follows the course of a "modern romantic relationship," so it begins with You're My Thrill and ends with I Wish I Were In Love Again before Mitchell offers up her new, lushly produced rendition of Both Sides Now at the very end.
A Case Of You won't suit everyone in its new version, but it certainly doesn't do the song a disservice.
Otherwise, standouts here are You're My Thrill, At Last, You've Changed, Don't Worry 'Bout Me and Stormy Weather.
Guests include saxman Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock on piano and trumpeter Mark Isham.
1. You're My Thrill
2. At Last
3. Comes Love
4. You've Changed
5. Answer Me, My Love
6. A Case Of You
7. Don't Go To Strangers
8. Sometimes I'm Happy
9. Don't Worry About Me
10. Stormy Weather
11. I Wish I Were In Love Again
12. Both Sides Now