Joni Mitchell Is Music

‘C&S’ Has Unusual Feeling

by Jeffrey Hudson
New Mexico Daily Lobo
March 5, 1974

"Court and Spark"
Joni Mitchell
(Asylum/7E-1001)

Our singer is called Joni. Anyone who has not heard her does not know the power of song. There is no one who is not carried away by her singing, a tribute all the greater as we are not in general a music-loving race. Tranquil peace is the music we love best; our life is hard, we are no longer able, even on occasions when we try to shake off the cares of daily life, to rise to anything so high and remote from our usual routine as music. Joni is our sole exception to this quandry [sic]; she has a love for music and knows too how to transmit it. She is the only one: when she dies, music - as we know it - will vanish from our lives.

She is helped in her performance on record by a number of notables - all, I am sure, are notables or they wouldn't be playing so well or with her - like Robbie Robertson Jose Feliciano, Cheech and Chong.

She is singing with unusual feeling. Her love songs, her radiating enchantment send us into a frenzy of not being loved too, or are we all the ones she loves?

Joni holds us at bay with her sensitivities, her sensations in song; her "Raised on Robbery" and "Twisted" are more than ordinary. Her carefreeness leaves us giddy.

Completeness

"Court and Spark" along with "Help Me" are an unending wish for completeness, to be with love; and all the while we thought her complete in song.

When there is so much laughter, when there is so much spark, why, at the same time, is she afraid of this love? When her gentleness shows through the music - how can she be rejected, is not our life hers? We are all inspired by each other, by the bonds of loneliness, the endearment of life.

Is the whole world a progression towards or a regression away from the words "I Love You"?

The male: the maple leaf of her introspection, the doll laying in the path, the doomed-by-pity centerfold of her observation. A relationship of this kind, of course, would never content Joni. A fire who burns fresh fuel, she is blinded by her self-concept. Can she be brought to overlook this, for her art does not go unnoticed.

I have often thought about this music of hers. Do we quite understand her, her enchantment? The simplest explanation to this piping of hers would be that the beauty of her singing is so great that even the most insensitive cannot be deaf to it; we delight in it. Is her singing not something out of the ordinary? The important thing is we love her.


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