Joni Mitchell’s fourth album maintained the confessional style of its predecessors, but her biographical epistles were here infused with greater maturity. Although her lyrics remained personal, Mitchell drew upon their described scenarios to express a greater context. Stephen Stills and James Taylor added sympathetic accompaniment, but the album’s musical textures were defined by the singer’s use of guitar, piano and dulcimer. Mitchell’s vocals showed a new depth and range absent from earlier work, but it is the use of a great lyric that makes the collection so memorable. Conversational, descriptive yet powerful; ‘sitting in bar in Paris, France’ (‘California’), ‘I could drink a case of you, and still be on my feet’ (‘A Case Of You’). etc. No pretensions, nothing oblique.
Tracks: All I Want; My Old Man; Little Green; Carey; Blue; California; This Flight Tonight; River; A Case Of You; The Last Time I Saw Richard....