3 Songs To Summarize The Album “Blue” By Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell live in 1970 - Character Driven / Youtube
Joni Mitchell’s fourth album, Blue, is widely considered to be one of the finest ones she ever put out. Capitalizing on the bareness of the records – as she opted for instruments like acoustic guitar, piano, and dulcimer to go along with her vocals – Blue is a purely intimate experience for the listener. To be fair, the album was inspired by intimacy – whether it be the people Mitchell was involved with, or her personal feelings and experiences. Borne out of her time traveling to Europe, the tracks for Blue slowly found themselves materializing one by one.
Written as an ode to her daughter that she gave up for adoption in 1965, “Little Green” bursts melancholy all over its arrangement. The track is has Mitchell going home to her folk roots with its jangly quality, giving it a piercing clarity to further heighten the emotions involved.
“Carey” slightly deviates from the barebones technique of the album as it is obviously richer in orchestration, with Mitchell playing her dulcimer and being backed up by Stephen Stills’ bass and Russ Kunkel’s percussion. The theme discusses the struggle between earthly convenience and idealism, while the implementation gives an early peek into how her succeeding material would sound like.
The ballad river is another showcase of Mitchell’s lyrical imagery told from the viewpoint of someone longing for that Yuletide vibe. It’s really just a glorified Christmas song, but Mitchell does it so well that she seamlessly incorporates “Jingle Bells” at the end of the track.