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Hejira

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Customer Reviews

The solitary heart of Joni Mitchell

Away from the break ups with feckless lovers, this is the restless, wandering Joni Mitchell at her most piercingly observant and self-possessed. The music, not least aided by the 'greatest bassist of all time' Jaco Pastorius, is chiming, haunting and misty, incredibly 'visual'. Her credo of 'painting with words' comes to the fore here, rich with visual descriptions of heartbreakingly vulnerable down-and-outs, childlike lovers, female masters of airborne flight and the quest for love and meaning "between the forceps and the stone", so delicately drawn yet so tangible that the memory remains with you long after the music has stopped playing. And as a 'sound world', this is her best work by a country mile and as great a work as anything in popular music. Far more subtle and assured than the experimentations on The Hissing Of Summer Lawns, the pealing guitar, wailing pedal steel and warm, rippling bass come together like the sounds of nature making its own private music. Blue and Court And Spark are more accessible, but they are simply great, great singer-songwriter albums. This states the case for Joni Mitchell as a genius, one of the great visionaries of pop, equal to Brian Wilson, Hendrix or Phil Spector (actually, she kept banging out masterpieces longer than any of 'em). This is an album that raises the bar for excellence in compostion and performance so high that almost anything you hear after will sound horribly unsatisfying. An incredible, titanic work.

Joni at her best

Following on from "The Hissing of summer lawns", Mitchell's New York story, she's back on the road again and this album is all about change and reinvention, most notably with the title track "Hejira", where Joni opens her up her heart to the world. The emphasis is always on moving and hoping for new and more positive experiences. She's also very reminiscent about her past and the expectations and inevitable disappointments of youth. "A song for Sharon", "Refuge of the roads" are fantastic songs, taking you right to that raw emotion. Great story telling and arguably her last creative album. Maybe Joni found happiness after Hejira.

Lucid Genius

This album is so lucid, I don't know how she got it all out... a work of art.

Biography

Born: 07 November 1943 in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

No female artist better typified the singer/songwriter movement of the '70s than Joni Mitchell, though her public image as the serious, sensitive woman with a guitar shortchanged her abilities, ambitions, and accomplishments. Mitchell's gift for writing personal, folk-inspired songs about the thorny side of life and love was inarguable (particularly on albums like 1970's Ladies of the Canyon and 1971's Blue), but Mitchell also brought the same smarts and eloquence to glossy pop on her commercial...
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