For the Roses
Moving away from her folk beginnings, Joni Mitchell delved into fresh instrumental shades and new lyric themes on 1972's For The Roses. This album formed a bridge between the introverted, cathartic songs on Blue and the jazzily playful numbers on Court And Spark. Beyond this, For The Roses has its own distinctive sound, built around Mitchell's acoustic guitar and piano and augmented by sparingly-used woodwinds and electric instruments. Much of the subject matter is melancholy and ruminative, yet never bleak. "See You Sometime," "Woman Of Heart And Mind" and the title track contain some of her most cogent and visually-arresting lyrics. Musically, the album is just as rewarding — "Cold Blue Steel And Sweet Fire" has an eerie grace, while "Electricity" catches the nervous energy of thwarted love. Mitchell even managed to achieve a pop hit with the slyly seductive "You Turn Me On I'm A Radio." Mitchell's early-to-mid-'70s run of albums are deservedly considered classics of the singer/songwriter genre; For The Roses ranks among the best of the bunch.