Court and Spark
Squirm factor: 1
How many ways can one performer be dull? I don’t know, but Joni Mitchell seems to trying to hit them all: lifeless uninflected vocals, the same sing-songy tune for every number, amateurish piano chording, deeply introspective lyrics that don’t mean much unless you happen to know Joni personally, and of course the oh-so-tasteful, oh-so-soporific L.A. session arrangements.
In the midst of the aural tryptophan are two gems, though. “Raised on Robbery” features Joni multi-tracking herself for some swing-era harmonies over a rollicking beat, and “Twisted” is another jazz number with psychotic (literally) lyrics and a great winding melody. Funny that the only times she gets a little action going are when she’s indulging her sense of humor.
So pick up Joni Mitchell’s Laugh-In if you must, but don’t please listen to this album while operating heavy machinery.
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