LIBRARY: Articles    

Travelogue   Print

by Chris Ingham
Mojo
December 2002

Joni re-examines her 35-year back catalogue with a 70-piece orchestra.

Once as fresh and clear as Canadian spring water, Joni Mitchell's voice these days is as complex and adult as bourbon whiskey. Her remarkable life-ravaged Summertime cameo on Herbie Hancock's Gershwin's World (1998) was barely recognisable as the folky optimist who had chirped The Circle Game in 1967. While Paprika Plains on Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (1978) already had proved she had the vocal and compositional gravitas to justify an orchestral backing and the album Both Sides Now (2000) confirmed her darker way with a strings-adorned standard, Travelogue is something else again. Concentrating on latter-career pieces, those who find post-Court And Spark Mitchell songs jazzily rambling and self-regarding, the recasting of dense works like Otis And Marlene and Refuge Of The Roads into Vince Mendoza-orchestrated impressionist, artsy quasi-tone poems will be even harder to swallow, though most will be intrigued to hear the grown-up readings of Last time I Saw Richard and For The Roses. The rest of us will be in wonder at the musical and literate resonance of her canon, among the most impressive oeuvre of rock-era popular music.

 

Copyright protected material on this website is used in accordance with 'Fair Use', for the purpose
of study, review or critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).

Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement.

This article has not yet been rated
Register and log in at this website to rate this article

Comments on this article


You can comment using your Facebook profile, or by registering and logging in through this website. Registered comments are indexed and are a permanent part of the website - Facebook comments are not indexed, and may eventually disappear.

» Register and log in to be the first to add a permanent comment.