Highlights, Great Songwriting
She started out as a painter, and it reflects in her songs. The title track, in particular, is a lushly colorful arrangement which doesn't follow any specific formula, but careens artfully and intuitively around the lyrics. "A Case of You" is one of the highlights of her songwriting career. It's a terrific, dubiously stated love song of sorts, from the point of view of a sarcastic and cynical lover. Sarcasm is not an easily nailed sentiment in song, but Mitchell plays it better here than possibly any other songwriter from her generation.
Other highlights include the personal and largely sentimental "River" and "California," and the daring of "My Old Man." The latter bucks the convention of marriage with a timeless statement of the difference between love and commitment, and the civil union of marriage, which stands up even now.
One of the Best Contemporary Folk Music Albums
The presence of her ridiculously gifted contemporaries - James Taylor, Stephen Stills, and Sneeky Pete - on this record is notable, but doesn't detract from the fact that Mitchell is clearly the artist here.