9 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's a windswept quality to Joni Mitchell's Hejira that goes beyond the landscapes depicted in its songs. This 1976 album is a travel diary set to an expansive and evocative jazz-rock score. Coolly luminous, the music frames lyrics at once intimately conversational and meticulously poetic. Love and distance are the two great themes on Mitchell's mind — "Coyote" and "A Strange Boy" recount affairs on the run, while "Amelia" and "Black Crow" examine the high costs of freedom. Extended narratives like "Song For Sharon" and "Refuge Of The Roads" have the emotional nuance and detail of fine short stories. The title track rushes by like a cold stream, lit from within by haunting imagery. Hejira's sound is defined by Mitchell's resonant acoustic guitar and Jaco Pastorius' molten fretless bass — together, they create an atmosphere suggestive of rolling clouds and open highways. Miles removed from the genteel folk of her early years, Joni's vocals display the shadings of a seasoned jazz chanteuse.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's a windswept quality to Joni Mitchell's Hejira that goes beyond the landscapes depicted in its songs. This 1976 album is a travel diary set to an expansive and evocative jazz-rock score. Coolly luminous, the music frames lyrics at once intimately conversational and meticulously poetic. Love and distance are the two great themes on Mitchell's mind — "Coyote" and "A Strange Boy" recount affairs on the run, while "Amelia" and "Black Crow" examine the high costs of freedom. Extended narratives like "Song For Sharon" and "Refuge Of The Roads" have the emotional nuance and detail of fine short stories. The title track rushes by like a cold stream, lit from within by haunting imagery. Hejira's sound is defined by Mitchell's resonant acoustic guitar and Jaco Pastorius' molten fretless bass — together, they create an atmosphere suggestive of rolling clouds and open highways. Miles removed from the genteel folk of her early years, Joni's vocals display the shadings of a seasoned jazz chanteuse.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
133 Ratings

133 Ratings

Earl C Grey ,

Hejira, by Joni Mitchell.

Hejira is, simply put, Joni Mitchell's finest album. Which is saying a lot.

Many of the songs were written by Joni while she was on the road with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review, and reflect the abstraction and solitude one can feel, even while surrounded by others. 'The fine white lines of the freeway' indeed.

The lyrics are sheer poetry, some of Joni's best, and are carried along by the stripped-down production, which features Joni's creative guitar wizardry in tandem with some of Jaco Pastorius's finest fretless bass work on record.

Highlights include 'Amelia' (Which is worth the price of the album in itself), Song For Sharon, The Refuge Of The Roads... There's really not a weak track on Hegira.

When introducing someone to Joni, Hegira is always my choice. I've probably gifted 30 copies of the album to friends over the years. It's Joni at her creative peak, the musicianship is impeccable, the lyrics shimmer with truth and scatter light like a mirror ball.

You simply can't go wrong with Hegira. 5 Stars.

dysbtwnCA ,

This is a masterpiece, both of Joni and Jaco

Hejira is an excellent collection of songs that you will listen to over and over, the interplay between Joni and Jaco Pastorius on bass is incredible. The songs are deeply emotional, compelling and deep, a far cry from the pop schlock we are subjected to today.

fractalthink ,

absolutely brilliant

hejira probably won't be your first joni album, but it will be the one you listen to most. you will listen for days, put it away for a time, and come back again. it's the coming back that is most remarkable.

the sounds, lyrics, and moods will hit you. from the speedy and sassy "coyote" to the stark and wandering "amelia" to the witty "furry sings the blues" and clear and deeply sobering "refuge of the roads" joni is letting you explore and grow with her.

one of her deepest journeys. join along.

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