Joni Mitchell

Album Reviews:

1971: Blue


Rating: 9.3/10
Rated as
: Album
Album Status: Defining Classic
Released: 1971
Specific Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Contemporary Folk
Main Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Folk
: Folk Pop, Folk Rock
Label: Reprise

Songs are like tattoos

My suspicion is that everybody who once picked up a guitar to write a song consciously or unconsciously has in mind to create an album like Mitchell’s Blue. Deeply personal but universal emotions packed into songs with winding melodies seemingly lost in thought, highly specific storytelling contouring an introspective but accessible atmosphere – everybody gets their private key to join the garden of reminiscence.

The melodic arcs may take some time to unfold as the sparsely but minutely instrumented songs have the aural quality of hand-written letters. There’s no going back, no rethinking of a line: you’ll have to work towards beauty with the material you just created. The album’s spark comes from the struggle of trying to be at ease with uneasiness, caught somewhere between disgust of and hopeful longing for the bright, golden loom of romantic entanglements, of other peoples’ problems and lust in cafés, observed from a withdrawn position of introspection. And while this or that harmony is a bit too earnest in its strive for conventional beauty, this is quintessential stuff.