by Joni Mitchell


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Clouds is a stark stunner, a great leap forward for Joni Mitchell. Vocals here are more forthright and assured than on her debut and exhibit a remarkable level of subtle expressiveness. Guitar alone is used in accompaniment, and the variety of playing approaches and sounds gotten here is most impressive. "The Fiddle and the Drum," a protest song that imaginatively compares the Vietnam-era warmongering U.S. government to a bitter friend, dispenses with instrumental accompaniment altogether. The sketches presented of lovers by turns depressive ("Tin Angel"), roguish ("That Song About the Midway"), and faithless ("The Gallery") are vividly memorable. Forthright lyrics about the unsureness of new love ("I Don't Know Where I Stand"), misuse of the occult ("Roses Blue"), and mental illness ("I Think I Understand") are very striking. Mitchell's classic singer/songwriter standards "Chelsea Morning" and "Both Sides Now" respectively receive energetically vibrant and warmly thoughtful performances. Imaginatively unusual and subtle harmonies abound here, never more so in her body of work than on the remarkable "Songs to Aging Children Come," which sets floridly impressionistic lyrics to a lovely tune that is supported by perhaps the most remarkably sophisticated chord sequence in all of pop music. Mitchell's riveting self-portrait on the album's cover is a further asset. This essential release is a must-listen.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
UPC: 0075992744621
catalogNumber: 6341
Rank: 2823

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Clouds 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I¿ve often said that The Beatles were the geniuses of rock, but it was more of a collective genius with George Martin included. They fed off of each other¿s individual muse. Joni Mitchell, however, is a genius all on her own! She came out of the early-to-mid-60s folk scene, but her music defies categories such as folk, rock, folk-rock, etc. I refuse to get caught up with trivial terminology of this sort. Great music is certainly more than a categorical phenomenon. Joni¿s music and lyrics meld into a seamless, living, breathing whole ¿ taking on a magical essence that¿s greater than the sum of its parts. And those parts are some of the most brilliantly advanced and artful musings you will find anywhere. Words elude me when attempting to describe what I feel when I listen to her music. She reaches deep inside of me ¿ and I¿m never quite the same after listening to one of her albums. She presents complexities so simply. One forgets how advanced the music is as she draws the listener into a world of magic and aural wonder. Her meaningful lyrics are veritable stories one can become lost in ¿ filled with thought-provoking relevance. The music supports her storytelling, bursting with sensual richness. The sound of her voice alone makes me swoon. And after listening to her work, most other popular music will seem so incredibly shallow. One could describe the music on ¿Clouds¿ (1969) as both cosmic and earthy at the same time. It¿s a fabulous collection of songs, and one of my favorite albums. Included here is the incredible ¿Both Sides, Now,¿ which ranks among the most intoxicatingly gorgeous songs I know; a song that can reduce me to tears. If you are new to Joni Mitchell, I suggest starting with ¿Clouds¿ or ¿Song to a Seagull.¿ Get to know her through these two, then continue on. Joni Mitchell is a genius in the truest sense of the word. She is an ARTIST of the highest order. Cheers, Murray
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
The utterly unique Joni Mitchell made another classic album with Clouds. This one includes "Chelsea Morning", "Songs to ageing Children Come", "The Fiddle and the Drum" and the great "Both Sides Now". This deserves to be in your collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago