“The beauty as a listener is you have an option. Either you can see yourself and your humanity in the songs, which is what I’m trying to do for listeners. Or you can say, ‘That’s the way she is’ and equate the songs with me. The richest way, the way to get the most out of it, is to see yourself in it. The ones that do, whether they call it autobiographical or not, are getting it.”
Blue, Joni Mitchell’s fourth studio album, was released on June 22, 1971, and since then, it has become the gold standard in “confessional” songwriting – something the Canadian singer-songwriter is not too pleased about. There is a singular kind of artistry in the composition of the album, that often is forced to play second fiddle to Mitchell’s lyrics, lauded for their remarkable honesty and vulnerability. Featuring songs written for a number of fellow musicians and transient paramours, Blue chronicles longing and loss while walking the thin line between remembrance and nostalgia. But the album is so much more about Mitchell herself than it is about any man. Blue is an act of self-knowledge, which in turn, might just develop into self-love.
With Blue, Mitchell also wanted to shake off the reputation she’d gained as a folk singer – she knew she was much more than that, and she needed the world to know it. Every song on this album is a postcard from a different soundscape, and listeners are invited to follow the paths Mitchell took while writing it, both literally and metaphorically. The result is an audacious exploration of the self as a musician, a writer, a woman, and most of all, an intrepid lover.
We are hosting a Joni Mitchell vinyl listening session - curated by Anushree Majumdar this Saturday from 4 PM to 6 PM at our store. Don't miss!