As many of you know, Joni Mitchell was my first music love. I didn't realize there were song writers who depicted and captured real life events and emotions previous to discovering her. I'd assumed everything was just written with the aim of popularity.

I remember finding her album in middle of my mom's dusty cd stack. I'd never heard anything like it and I wasn't sure if I could embrace it. The chords felt disonnant and her voice shrilled. But the words grabbed me. I was in the throws of 14-year-old Jr. High drama at the time and my soul felt connected to it.

She remained the soul occupier of my number one slot for the next 6 years. I could sing entire albums aloud when hiking in perfect order and without missing a single word (and possibly still could.)

My disenchantment occurred when I picked out the tones of her own self-righteousness. I remember hearing about a quote where she'd responded to being named "one of the best female song writers of all time."
"Female!," she responded. "How about just songwriters?" Yes, maybe a feminist issue that I could've overlooked had I not percieved similar overtones elsewhere in her music. I began to feel that she revealed such personal things more out of self-importance as a famous figure than as a human being as relating about her life with authenticity. Still, I always come back to her most genuine work.

No matter how many times I hear the guitar intro to "All I Want" at the beginning of her best album, "Blue," I take a deep breath and allow it to resonate inside of me. Sometimes I've missed it dearly, like an old friend. Sometimes it just feels liberating. I always think of her words during self image crises, boy troubles, and major life transitions.

If you ever want to get inside a woman's brain, maybe you should just listen to Joni Mitchell. There are a few albums I'd be happy to recommend.

1 comment:

mim said...

Yeah! I like that one too. Whe may be pompous, but she is good.