Mitchell looks remarkably like Vincent Van Gogh in the self-portrait on the front of her new album. The music, however, is less tumultuous than the title and painting promise. Wielding her elegant voice with her usual economy, she fastidiously probes subjects such as wife-battering and the "massive mess" the world is in. Though clearly distressed by what she's singing, she only really lets go on the desolate Last Chance Lost. Gorgeous, Mitchell makes sparing use of a backing band that includes ace saxophonist Wayne Shorter - if there must be smooth West Coast studio rock, this is how it should sound. ***(CS)
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Added to Library on February 18, 2009. (5445)
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