12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
This was the first Joni Mitchell album I ever heard. It was 1992, and I was in grade 10. My vocal music teacher brought it in to play us a sample...and I felt a whole new world of music opening up for me. I have been a Joni Mitchell fan ever since.
"Blue" is an album that has Joni bearing her soul...leaving no stone unturned, no walls or curtains to hide...
Published on May 13 2004 by Debra Fitzsimmons
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing and far from her best work.
I was looking through the reviews for this album and among all the gushing praise I was glad to see that a few other people see it for the over-rated bore that it is.I own a lot of Joni Mitchells albums and the one I hardly ever play is 'Blue'.I wasn't impressed when I bought it and 10 years on it hasn't improved.All her other albums I would give between 4 and 5 stars and...
Published on Sept. 12 2003 by mark32986
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5.0 out of 5 stars YOU EITHER LOVE HER OR HATE HER,
By A Customer
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)Face it, if you have heard her there is no gray area. This has got to be the definitive Joni album. Cary, A Case of You, The Last Time I Saw Richard...all classics. The Last Time I Saw Richard is the best though. Just simple piano, lyrics that actually place you at the "cafe" where Joni and Richard are meeting. Stunning. A Case of You follow close behind. I love the lyric, "I could drink a case of you..and still be on my feet". I have tried so many times to get people to love her like I do by playing this song. Hasn't worked. I think people are turned off by the pitch of her voice. Also..why was this song included on her "Misses" album rather than the "Hits"? "This Flight Tonight" is another of my faves on this album. I love the guitar in this song. I wonder if Joni is afraid of flying for real? I heard "River" on the local NPR radio staion on Christmas Eve..I had forgotten how affecting and sad this song is. Another great version of this song is on the Indigo Girls 2 disc live cd. They introduce it by calling it the saddest Christmas song ever. How true. "All I Want" opens the album on a high note. I can't say enough about this album. If you've never heard her music I hope this review will make you decide to check it out. Also "Court and Spark" is another great one to get!
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT,
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)This was my very first introduction to Joni's music, and I fell in love with it. The songwriting is wonderful, her voice is addictive, and the music is passionate. I particularly liked the songs "Little Green" and "River" and "Blue" which stick with me...
Joni was the original to folk music with this type of magnitude, and although I must say I enjoy music by Sarah McLachlan and Jewel and other more modern day -- I still thoroughly enjoyed this one. I know that Joni still makes music to this day, but this cd -- THIS CD is definitely the one that sticks out the most and really truly shows her at her best. I highly recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, Definite, Essential - Take Your Pick,
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)Joni Mitchell has explored virtually every musical and emotional nook and cranny during her lengthy and distinguished career - but "Blue" stands apart as her greatest acheivement. While instrumentally spare, the lyrics and melodies that comprise "Blue" are uncommonly rich, somethow grabbing one's attention immediately while revealing even more upon repeated listening.
Listen to the title song, a love lament (apparently targeted at James Taylor, her then-boyfriend) that at first glance doesn't seem to have a structure, but somehow resonates long afterwards. "River" is more than just a breakup song, with its Christmas imagery starkly juxtaposed against Mitchell's angst. At the same time, Joni can be downright playful - "California" makes me grin from ear to ear every time I hear it (cool pedal steel work by the legendary Sneaky Pete) and even "Carey" (featuring Steve Stills's loping bass line) still stands up despite its heavy radio play in 1971.
"Blue" is (I believe) the best possible starting point in exploring Joni Mitchell's career, as it catches her blurring the line among pop, folk and jazz genres, breaking out of the hippie/folkie mold, and becoming an artistic force who would influence many for years to come.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Just Before Our Love Got Lost, You Said . . . ",
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)In the career of every celebrated artist there is one work of art which stands above all others, one that is celebrated as the pinnacle of artistry, the apex to which all that preceded it has led, and against which all that follows it will forever be compared. "Blue" is that album in the gallery of Joni Mitchell's musical masterpieces: it is THE masterpiece, so much so that when all the other Mitchell albums have faded from the mind, it is "Blue" that persists in the memory. Every (and I do assert EVERY) song on the album weaves unique melodies with profound lyrics. The acoustic and piano arrangements are, by turn, eminent, sparse, twisted, and flowing. But the music becomes the secondary element on an album that delivers an overwhelming amount of philosophy, tragedy, and poetry. The album starts with "All I Want", a proclamation of the love-and-hate duality of all relationships. From there, Joni celebrates her much-too-absent lover in the anti-establishment "My Old Man". One of the most personal songs on the album, "Little Green", tells Joni's own story of having to give away her infant daughter. "Carey" is the most upbeat song on the album, telling of strange and special encounters, and her "mean old daddy". The title track is, expectedly, searing and sad, a musical mourning that echoes later in the album. "California" is essentially a love song to the state in which Joni honed her art in Laurel Canyon. "This Flight Tonight" is one of my favorite Mitchell songs, though it gets very little notice. The acoustic playing is very rousing and the song is almost furiously temperamental. The final three songs on the album are the unoffical "Great Trilogy of Tragedy". NYT Critic Stephen Holden recently said, " 'Blue' went to a level of psychic pain and tragedy that no one had sung up to then, and that no one has sung since." These last three songs prove why. The dull ache of "River", a holiday song that is about anything but the holidays, is the essential song of hope when there is really nothing to be hopeful about. Perhaps the best song on the album(and perhaps the best of any Mitchell song) is the profoundly mournful "A Case of You", a retracing of the death of Love and the lament of what was and what will never be again. There is no other song I can think of that so perfectly captures the grief that accompanies the end of a relationship. "The Last Time I Saw Richard" is a reflection on a man and on Love, sharing much the same theme as 'Both Sides Now'. Needless to say, "Blue" is as profound as it is melodic, the truly essential Joni Mitchell work. If ever there was a substantial popular album that worked as well as verse as composition, this is it.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Singer/Songwriter Album of All Time...,
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)In the late sixties and early seventies, a new style of music began to evolve. Coming from the sixties folk music of Joan Baez, The Kingston Trio, and similar artists, Simon and Garfunkel headed up this musical movement, and quickly transformed folk into a more pop-oriented singer/songwriter style.
But Simon and Garfunkel only started the movement. When they split in 1970, Paul Simon released his first solo album, in a full-fleged singer/songwriter album. But George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" would become the first great singer/songwriter album. Since then, the style has given us over 30 years of classic albums.
But to find the greatest of these albums, we go back to the early years of the movement, in 1971. This is when Joni Mitchell released "Blue." Though not considered her greatest album, that title belongs to "Court and Spark," "Blue" is Joni's greatest folk album; "Court and Spark" is done in much more of a folk-jazz album.
The album begins with "All I Want," a simple folky tune, which is one of the most lighthearted moments on the album, and is accompanied only by guitar.The album moves on to "My Old Man," which, though not a light-hearted number, has a positive outlook. This number is accompanied only on piano. Every song on the album follows in one of these two fashions: there is not a single percussion instrument, and there is no mix: every song is either piano or guitar.
Third is "Little Green," a dark number accompanied by guitar, which focuses on adoption. The lyrics in this are sung quietly and subdued, and helps the listener slip into the album. Then comes "Carey," the most popular song from the album, and the most lighthearted. This is also accompanied by guitar, and is a bittersweet love song.
The first side of the album closes with the title track, "Blue," one of the darkest singer/songwriter songs in existence, and also is the darkest song on the album. Surprisingly, the song is a love song, consoling somebody who is clearly depressed, hence the title. The song is accompanied by sparse piano chords.
Side two of the classic album begins with "California," another popular hit, which is another bittersweet song concerning a return home from Europe. Supposedly, Joni penned the entire album while vacationing in Europe. Next is "This Flight Tonight," one of the most lively songs on the album, while it's tone is dark and depressing. The gons is accompanied by piano.
Eighth on the album is "River," a very dark song which brilliantly juxtapositions depression with Christmas. Ninth is "A Case Of You," a popular favorite, which is also very lighthearted, accompanied by guitar, and written seemingly half for a loved one and half for Joni's home, Canada. She makes allusions of love to wine in this folky album track. Finally is "The Last Time I Saw Richard," a song which brilliantly closes the album as an epic folk classic.
"Blue" is by far the greatest singer/songwriter album of all time, and is a must have for any fan of any kind of music, as it is electric, satisfying, and fulfilling.
5.0 out of 5 stars part of you pours out of me in these lines from time to time,
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)I don't know if it is possible for me to put into words the feelings I have about this album. First, I feel that it is the best album of all time. Her voice is at its most beautiful on this album. No matter how many times I listen, it gets better all the time. I sing along to every song, because they all relate to some emotion I have experienced. I could repeat the last three songs over and over, and never get tired of them! She has other albums that are wonderful, but none compare with this one.
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good That It's the only Joni I Need,
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)I'll keep it short. Blue is one of the finest folk albums ever. Mitchell's songwriting is sharp, her vocals crystalline and incredibly emotional, and yes, she even wrings smiles out of us (My Old Man, California) while simultaneously devastating us (River, the title track).
Musically sparse, finely wrought...I feel it's her finest work.
PS> And not to anger any of the Joni fans who like her jazzier stuff, but I just can't relate to her when she gets jazzy. She's an artist, and it's her right, but I don't have to like it. You'll say I miss the point, and that may be so. However, you also miss the point by not accepting her earlier work for the strengths it has. And that's as diplomatic as I can put it.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time great albums - a complete masterpiece!,
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)When great albums are tossed around in conversation, one often hears Beatles, Stones, or Dylan albums, but often left out is the work of THE premier chanteuse of the '70's: Joni Mitchell. With certain bands (Radiohead), it takes a few albums to really realize the full scope of the artist's musical genius, but that can be done in one fell swoop with "Blue." Simply stated, her 1971 recording is an arguably unrivaled piece of introspective musical poetry. Sure, it lacks the multi-piece completeness of her later efforts, and generally operates between two musical "feels" (the care-free "Carey" and the heartbreaking "Blue" make that case), but what's wrong with a piano, a guitar, and a masterful songwriter that knows how to get each and every song under your skin? "Blue" may not have a full orchestra behind it, but many of the songs are as violently moving as a Mozart opera.
What is so intriguing about "Blue" is that, for the most part, each and every song is increasingly better than the one before it. The overall effect is astounding.
If there exists one reason to buy "Blue," it is the album's closer, "The Last Time I Saw Richard." Thankfully, though, there are ten reasons: every single song on the album. "Blue" is a perfect example of poetry and music at their most compelling, most moving, most personal, and their best.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievabe...a true genius!,
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)This is the greatest CD I have EVER heard. Being 19, I had no idea who Joni Mitchell was. Then I happened to catch a PBS special on her. I remember thinking she was a unique singer & that I recognized a song from "Practical Magic" and one from a TV commercial, and they'd stood out in my mind as really great. So I got the CD just to try it out. Then I took it home and was instantly mesmerized and shocked that someone could sing like that. "River", "Blue", and "Case of You" in particular stand out and literally make me cry (the other songs are just as powerful). And her lyrics are always just so raw. She actually got told not to be so personal in her songs by close friends who knew her. But that's what makes this record so special...you can hear the pain and the sadness in not only the lyrics, but Joni's voice...and it makes you feel so much more when you listen to them, than just the typical reaction to most songs today. You're more able to relate and get into the song when you can actually FEEL the emotion behind it. I just can't believe there are so many people my age missing out on one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever to live. I'd rate this CD better even than Carly or Paul Simon's greatest work.
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing and far from her best work.,
This review is from: Blue (Audio CD)I was looking through the reviews for this album and among all the gushing praise I was glad to see that a few other people see it for the over-rated bore that it is.I own a lot of Joni Mitchells albums and the one I hardly ever play is 'Blue'.I wasn't impressed when I bought it and 10 years on it hasn't improved.All her other albums I would give between 4 and 5 stars and 'The hissing of summer lawns' is a work of art.Mystified by all the praise heaped on Blue I've tried listening to it over the years to see if I was missing something but always after 3 tracks my attention starts to drift and boredom sets in.OK-it's well played and her voice is(as usual)outstanding but most of the songs are not memorable.'Carey' and 'California' have some corny lyrics and jar with the downbeat mood of most of the album.Things improve considerably with 'This flight tonight' and 'River'.'A case of you' is ok -though not the masterpece some would have you believe- but by now it's too late-the album's nearly over and ends with the dreary and whining 'The last time I saw Richard'.Blue is about 37 minutes long but feels like an hour and always leaves me feeling totally indiferent towards it as a whole.Sorry but this isn't the album such a great artist should be remembered for.
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