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Court and Spark Print-ready version

by Michael Starenko
Kalamazoo College Index
May 17, 1974

Pop music has obviously become a very big business. It seems simply incredible that musicians ever played in small cafe's [sic]. Joni Mitchell goes against the grain of current pop music by retaining that serene, yet intangible element of personal closeness with her listener. To her, we are only three tables away. In the face of her now superstar fame, Court and Spark is a monument to her perception and creativity. The second cut of the album, "Help Me," is an infectious song about the paradox of falling in love - sheer delight and utter fear. The instrumentation on the album, like the vocalist behind it all, is sophisticated and mature. And yet, even with the growing complexity of her music, Joni still comes across with all the guts and sensitivity that I have enjoyed in the past.

In the cuts "Free Man in Paris" and "People's Parties" Joni sings of the mixed blessing which accompany stardom. She longs for the quiet times, the casual life of her cafe days. It is this: the quality of simplicity and honesty, which give real life to her music. For those of you who have known the works of Joni Mitchell, Court and Spark is a natural progression of her life: a life that never ceases to enlighten the listener. And if you are one of those unfortunate souls who do not know her, you owe it to yourself to truck on down to Boogie and pick up a copy. That is, if you can find one. It just might be the start of a long love affair.

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Added to Library on August 26, 2021. (2472)


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