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Album Review Print-ready version

by Michael Perry
Saint George Dixie Sun
January 13, 1977
Original article: PDF

HEJIRA - Joni Mitchell (Asylum)

The spirit and mood of Hejira (traveling, a journey,) is the reoccurring theme in Joni Mitchell's ninth album. The songs are thoughtful and the best introspective writing since "For the Roses". Her poetry is outstanding, the imagery is deep and most revealing of her psyche. Ms. Mitchell has once again proven herself a great writing talent.

Gone are the slick L.A. Express back-ups and the over instrumentalized songs. The sheer power of her works are provided by her words and guitar work, backed up with simple percussion and bass. The electric guitar work is smooth and well engineered, never overbearing. It's really hard to write about an album that impresses one so much. Listening to "Hejira" I have moved from humor to a deep, relating sorrow. Ms. Mitchell's moods move from quiet compassion to futility, and then to a place where all seems hopeful. Her words strike deep like reality therapy, yet she injects some comfort to make the journey sooth like a balm. Whether she's on the Bay of Fundy, or a blue motel room, she writes her songs like she was talking to a good friend.

There is no way I could decide upon the best cut, the album is too well balanced. Just when you think you've found the finest cut, the next song will move you in another way.

This is an album for people who love words. It is much like a poem that develops new facets of beauty each time it is heard, and one never tires of hearing it again and again. If you're a disco freak who likes the catchy and empty phrase, then this is not an album for you. But if you love well structured poetry and haunting melodies, then Ms. Mitchell's album will be a delightful point of view.

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Added to Library on November 28, 2023. (1732)


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jakeyboy on

Well said Michael Perry. A concise review of my favourite album.

jakeyboy on

Well said Michael Perry. A concise review of my favourite album.