|1. Harlem In Havana|
|2. Man From Mars|
|3. Love Puts On A New Face|
|4. Lead Balloon|
|5. No Apologies|
|6. Taming The Tiger|
|7. The Crazy Cries Of Love|
|8. Stay In Touch|
|9. Face Lift|
|10. My Best To You|
|11. Tiger Bones|
Joni's singing is superb - the set is laden with gentle, subtle, tuneful songs, but listen to the lyrics and the messages are there for us to hear, but not rammed down your throat.
In an album which does not have even an average song - no weak links here - my favourite is "No Apologies". The message of anger at what is happening in the world comes across, but with quiet authority, pedal steel guitar and Joni's unmistakable guitar picking. This is typical - throughout, the musicianship is top-notch, very much understated and enhances her singing.
If you loved "Turbulent Indigo", and thought it would be hard to beat, I urge you to listen to "Taming The Tiger" and you will find that it has exceeded it's predecessor. What is more, the booklet of lyrics and paintings is, as you might expect of Joni, wondrous.
Joni is an icon who, it appears from reports, may stop recording (is she disenchanted?). I suggest that other artists would still learn a great deal from Joni and I hope she continues to grace our CD players with new material for many more years to come.
I am here to say though that those who have panned "Taming the Tiger" or who are somewhat "bored" by these gentle guitar ballads have truly missed something here. "Taming the Tiger" is quite simply melodically wonderous and sonically breathtaking in every respect. A lovely recording.
Joni keeps her voice in the lowest registers here most of the time. The tracks weave in a out of one another effortlessly, with Joni in careful control of the ubiquitously guitar-rich and gently-rolling sound. Track for track, this is a project that is every bit as consistent and unique musically and lyrically as "Hejira" was in the mid-70s.
"Stay in Touch" is a standout both in its arrangement and performance...a knockout recording! Songs like "Happiness is the Best Facelift" remind the listener of earlier projects like "For the Roses" in the early 70s. The songs all have the same soft arrangements and most have truly wonderful melodies. Joni's vocals are huskier in recent years, but here this only adds to the intrigue and maturity of this truly visionary work.
I have never put "Taming the Tiger" on the shelf for long and will always come back to it. Beautiful!