Blue by Joni Mitchell (1971) is an album with a very calm meditating sound but one which also stirs up your imagination with it’s fresh and uniquely honest lyrical content. Mitchell has a very storytelling quality to her vocal and you can see everything in front of you as she sings. It is quite understated and yet it is very beautiful because of it’s understated vibe. Let’s have a look at each track in detail:
All I Want
The opening track All I Want sets the tone for the rest of the album with Mitchell’s storytelling vocal delivery. It has quite jolly instrumentals that accompany Mitchell’s vocal perfectly. The lyrics are clever and punchy.
My Old Man
Mitchell’s vocal is very strong and varied on this track. The instrumentals are atmospheric and can sometimes almost bring a tear to your eye. They are powerful and creative. I love the lyrics which I think are about love in a cohabiting relationship. The chorus about not needing a piece of paper from the city hall to stay tight and true is very catchy and it is an excellent theme for a song.
This song has quite understated beautiful instrumentals which have an ethereal quality. Mitchell’s vocal is clear and passionate over the instrumentals. The lyrics feel like a poem put to music and it works beautifully.
Quite jolly and very original in it’s instrumentals. The chorus is catchy and Mitchell’s vocal is rich and distinctive as it is on all the tracks on this album. She has a very distinctive vocal which a listener would know anywhere. The track is very natural and tuneful.
Like My Old Man, the title track Blue has atmospheric and powerful instrumentals which would almost bring a tear to your eye. It is a stunningly beautiful ballad which is my third favourite track on the album. Mitchell’s vocal is beautiful, heartfelt and passionate throughout. Very strong and compelling with melodious and original melodies.
Very storytelling. Mitchell’s vocal is clear, stylish and raw throughout and the instrumentals have a jolly feel. The lyrics are original and clever.
This Flight Tonight
The lyrics are clever and are like a fabulous metaphor. There is varied instrumentals which work brilliantly together. Mitchell’s vocal is also very varied but she manages to sing each section with a professional competent feel.
Again the metaphor is brilliant in this song. This time the river is the metaphor like the plane in the previous song. This method can be cheesy with other artists but not with Mitchell. The track is heartfelt and beautifully delivered vocally and instrumentally.
A Case of You
This is my favourite track on the album. I think the lyrics are very heartfelt, original and cleverly put together. You drift away from the world listening to this song. It has a hypnotic quality to it. There is well-shaped melodies throughout with a very expressive, rich and inspiring vocal. The instrumentals are just stunning and are the perfect complement to Mitchell’s glorious vocal.I love it. I could listen to this track all day.
The Last Time I Saw Richard
My second favourite song on the album, The Last Time I Saw Richard has such a storytelling quality to it that you see the entire scene unfolding in your mind like you are watching it on a screen or as a bystander. The instrumentals are perfectly balanced and engaging while the lyrics mirror the instrumentals in a perfect fashion with their storytelling vibe. These lyrics are very original and thought-provoking and Mitchell’s vocal singing them is enchanting. It draws the listener in from the start and continues to right to the end of the song. Her vocal is clear and expressive. The perfect closing song for the album.