- Audio Cassette (Oct 17 1990)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Elektra / Wea
- ASIN: B000002GYD
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
The reasons I love this album are complex, not unlike the music itself. The lyrics are of course exceptional as always with Mitchell, but these have a particular quality of longing, melancholy, and wisdom that is somehow never heavy-handed or depressing...more insightful, or observational. The music is subtle, cyclical at times, and the resultant interplay is truly amazing. It's as though if one reads the lyrics they speak of music with this quality, and the music speaks of lyrics of this quality.
With this album, Mitchell once again also has the gift of capturing the times without ever sounding dated. Hejira was an appropriate title (sometimes technically referred to as Mohammed's flight from Mecca to Medina; but in this sense a broad but critical spiritual journey); as such this is the ultimate travel album, and listening to it is a spiritual journey. And "Album" is an appropriate word - like the photos of a trip, vignettes in our memory, experiences, thoughts, emotions they draw forth. I used to drive around 1200km every weekend through prairies to mountains and this was the soundtrack. As the years pass, each of the songs themselves have taken on special meaning and understanding at specific points of my life. I find it wonderful that there is so much positive feedback for Hejira at this point; it (and Hissing of Summer Lawns) wasn't as well received when released...people still wanted another Court and Spark - but every Joni Mitchell album is a new painting, she doesn't paint the same picture over and over, so they should have known better; critics without context.
Hejira is a true masterwork unlike anything else, and I sincerely believe it to be one of the great albums of the 20th Century. I struggle for comparisons to other's works, even Mitchell's. For me it has always sounded as poignant and fresh as the first time I heard it. You don't simply listen to this music; it washes through you, drifts around you but never lets go. It speaks with cohesion and depth to the witness of an important range of experiences, and I for one have been forever changed by it.