For her first album of covers, the living legend Joni Mitchell has pieced together a strange combination both of songs we know and songs we ought to know. There are familiar tunes, a torrid "Stormy Weather," a sensual "You're My Thrill." But there are also tender readings of overlooked gems like "Comes Love," and "Answer Me, My Love."
This is a record for hard-core cabaret fans, folks who appreciate a singer squeezing every drop from a lyric. Mitchell slows it all down and conjures a confident performance exploiting the peaks and (becasue [sic] of her age) the evolving valleys of her voice. A lesser artist might want to jazz it up a little, make this an easier record to listen to, but Mitchell remains patient and keeps it vocally stark throughout.
Mitchell also expands the songbook by including herself in it. To the standards, she adds lush, string-laden covers of her own hits "Both Sides Now" and "A Case of You," which hold up just fine along side material from names like Harold Arlen and Lorenz Hart.
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