Mitchell's political and ecological tirades have never sat well with an audience that idolizes her for her frustrated romantic confessions of yore. Shine won't satisfy that lot, but it's a welcome return to songwriting after a pair of bloated orchestral projects. Yet while Mitchell poignantly articulates disdain for careless modern living and rage at war's brutality, the hollow, largely keyboard-generated arrangements and overall chilly digital recording detracts from her startling observations. Using programmed beats makes Hana and Night of the Iguana sound tinny. Mitchell's genius beams more clearly through the majestic piano instrumental One Week Last Summer and her musical meditation on the Rudyard Kipling poem, If.
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