JONI MITCHELL: "Hejira" (Asylum 7E-1087). A Boston paper recently ran a review of this album under the headline: "Joni Mitchell to Fans: Drop Dead." Fortunately, Mitchell isn't coming up for re-election to anything, for this album is as deliberately inaccessible and cold as any she's made - which is as cold and inaccessible as anyone. On the other hand, it recoups much of the ground lost with last year's "The Hissing of Summer Lawns," both musically and lyrically. The focus is the road - the title refers to Mohammed's flight from Mecca - but not only as a means for escape, it's for adventure, too. The singing is the most diverse she has done since "For the Roses," particularly on Side One, which has hints of standard pop melody. But in the end, this is a bit too cerebral for its own good.
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