10 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Both elegant and angry, Joni Mitchell's Turbulent Indigo (1994) proved to be her best-received release in at least a decade. The album marked a welcome return to the jazz-fusion of 1976's Hejira. Its sounds are liquid and insinuating — Larry Klein's swooning bass, Wayne Shorter's piping saxophone and Mitchell's atmospheric guitar melt over the tracks invitingly. After the music ensnares you, the lyrics prod at your conscience with a cruel edge. A profound discontent with the world flares up in songs like "Sunny Sunday," "Sex Kills" and "Borderline," conveyed in sophisticated verse. Mitchell details stories of sexual hypocrisy ("The MagdaleneLaundries") and domestic violence ("Not To Blame") with an understatement that only heightens their tragedy. Her smoke-seasoned vocals are laden with melancholy and touches of wry humor. There are lighter moments, such as the romantic sketch "Yvette In English" and the gently-grooving "How Do You Stop" (the only song here not written by Mitchell). Significantly, though, she closes with "The Sire Of Sorrow," adopting the persona of a suffering Job. Turbulent Indigo coalesces into something beautiful despite (or maybe because of) its sense of injustice. This Grammy-winning album is a serious-minded work of unflinching intelligence and seething emotion.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Both elegant and angry, Joni Mitchell's Turbulent Indigo (1994) proved to be her best-received release in at least a decade. The album marked a welcome return to the jazz-fusion of 1976's Hejira. Its sounds are liquid and insinuating — Larry Klein's swooning bass, Wayne Shorter's piping saxophone and Mitchell's atmospheric guitar melt over the tracks invitingly. After the music ensnares you, the lyrics prod at your conscience with a cruel edge. A profound discontent with the world flares up in songs like "Sunny Sunday," "Sex Kills" and "Borderline," conveyed in sophisticated verse. Mitchell details stories of sexual hypocrisy ("The MagdaleneLaundries") and domestic violence ("Not To Blame") with an understatement that only heightens their tragedy. Her smoke-seasoned vocals are laden with melancholy and touches of wry humor. There are lighter moments, such as the romantic sketch "Yvette In English" and the gently-grooving "How Do You Stop" (the only song here not written by Mitchell). Significantly, though, she closes with "The Sire Of Sorrow," adopting the persona of a suffering Job. Turbulent Indigo coalesces into something beautiful despite (or maybe because of) its sense of injustice. This Grammy-winning album is a serious-minded work of unflinching intelligence and seething emotion.

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