Shineby Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell’s Shine is the work of an artist compelled to make music. Having turned her back on the recording industry years ago, Mitchell, an icon who could certainly rest on her laurels (and royalties), returned to the studio to make an album that rings with personal conviction and quiet intensity. Primarily ballads, Mitchell’s new songs communicate a brooding vision of a world riven by war, greed, and personal confusion. Yet, as expressed through the direct emotionalism of her still arresting voice and unmistakable idiosyncratic phrasing, Mitchell hasn’t given up hope. Honest observation rather than resignation or bitterness permeates these songs, and, as a reworking of her classic “Big Yellow Taxi” attests to, Mitchell can even peer into the darkness with more than a glimmer of humor. Working closely with producer (and former husband) Larry Klein, Mitchell builds a spare yet enveloping sonic environment that owes much to her own piano work and the contributions of pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz and drummer Brian Blade. Shine is a mature album from an artist who assumes her audience is as grown up as she is.
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Performance CreditsJoni Mitchell Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals
James Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Bob Sheppard Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Brian Blade Drums
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Larry Klein Bass,Bass Guitar
Greg Leisz Pedal Steel Guitar
James D. Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Leigh Allardyce Dancer
Technical CreditsJoni Mitchell Arranger,Composer,Producer,Art Direction,Audio Production,Instrumentation
Dan Marnien Engineer
Chris Marshall Engineer
Robbie Cavolina Art Direction
Rudyard Kipling Composer
Joshua Blanchard Engineer
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I admit being a huge Joni Mitchell fan - listening many times over to Blue, Hejira, Court & Spark and her numerous classic albums. I had hoped she would end her decade long re-mixing phase and get back in the studio. Shine is worth the wait ... it listens beautifully and the potency of her lyrics emerges with repeated listening. Her voice and her delivery (even of older material) enlarges and gives substance and meaning to her lyrics ... as though the wisdom of maturity has uncovered the subtle intensity in her music. The musical variety on the album and the passion in the music combine to elevate Shine as a worthwhile addition to a favorite album list on your player.
Wow. This work is significant. The person who wrote the review: What is up with Joni? ....just doesn't get it. She wants Joni to be commercial. She wants a bouncing, light love song to lift her up and allow her to pretend everything is o.k. She wants to live in denial of what is all around us, and Joni has a giant flashlight that she wants to "Shine" on reality. Joni has always written about what is near and dear to her soul. She has never catered to the song charts. The lyrics and mood in this music communicate exactly what I have been feeling as of late. There is despair over the war, the environment, the cluelessness of "man". She appears to be searching for some glint of hope or sanity or ??, shrouded in significant doubt. I think Shine to me is the equivalent of putting the "light of day" on where we are today - reflecting some of the stark realities without any spin or makeup. What were we thinking? What are we thinking? What are we doing? Are we destined to just stumble forward blind and impotent? How do we reach a higher plane? We ignored her message from the 60s. Will we do the same in this new millennium?
This is Joni at her finest. Much thought and preparation is obviously done on this CD Love it.
My God, I use to love this woman's music, but after suffering through this downer of a disc, I concluded that Joni needed to smoke less cigerettes and take up prozac. Each and every song " except the opening instrumental" was fused with anger, negativity or critcal observation. She bashed so many things in the track "shine" that I lost count. I felt like jumping off a cliff by the time it was over. Apparently my favorite flower child is now a bitter old woman with a nicotine ravaged voice. I think I'll go listen to "Chelsea Morning", and remember her in happier times!
SHINE is both new and old. It contains the beautiful "Night of the Iguana" and a reworking of the classic "Big Yellow Taxi." As always it is Joni - as the music starts there is no mistaking her signature chords or haunting vocals. But it is also something more - it is our universal story. How we live, work, and love! With maturity comes skill and wisdom, and you can hear both in this new endeavor. The true artist reflects the events and landscapes of their time. Joni Mitchell has again 'painted a picture with words and music!'
I was very surprised after repeated listens this collection of new Joni Mitchell really sinks in. Everything about this is first class, some may be put off by the subject matter but Joni is not interested in love songs anymore, she's got allot to share and boy does she put her points across. Can't thing of an artist that has put this much into the message and the music to form such a body of work. You can't deny the power of these songs, or you're living on another planet. One of Joni's best since her mid to late 70's. A mature, haunting song cycle.
Joni Mitchell is the platform on which artists like Corinne Baily Rae, Norah Jones, Vanessa Carlton etc. are built. On "Shine" Joni has raised the bar if by a slight margine. Returning to the style of her late 70's albums like "Hejira", "Court and Spark" and those in between, she updates her sonic palate sounding as if she never left those albums behind. This albums has the perfect title.