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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Hissing Of Summer Lawns

Joni Mitchell

1975

Buy At Rough Trade
The Hissing Of Summer Lawns
Album Summary

The Hissing of Summer Lawns is the seventh studio album by Joni Mitchell. It was released in November 1975 on Asylum Records. The album continues the jazz-influenced sound of Mitchell's previous album Court and Spark while featuring more unconventional and experimental material than its predecessor. Additionally, the album saw Mitchell experiment with sampling and synthesizers such as the Moog and ARP. Contributors to the album include jazz-rock groups the L.A. Express and the Jazz Crusaders alongside backing appearances by James Taylor, David Crosby, and Graham Nash. Lyrically, many songs on the album focus on narratives revolving around women's experiences such as standing up to patriarchal norms ("Don't Interrupt the Sorrow") or frustrations with suburban life (the title track, "Harry's House"). As with many of Mitchell's albums, she created the cover art herself, in this case a painting depicting a group of men carrying a large snake superimposed over the Beverly Hills suburbs; Mitchell's own house can be seen shaded in light blue. The album has seen a retrospective appraisal and has gone on to become one of her most acclaimed works. The album appeared at number 258 in Rolling Stone's 2020 edition of its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and at number 217 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums in 2000. In 1977, at the 19th Grammy Awards, Mitchell was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the album.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.08

Votes

10127
Genres
Folk
Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Sun Jan 24 2021
4

Nice production value. The Jungle Line is cool and not the sound i associated with Joni Mitchell. I’m a fan!

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Joni Mitchell doing her usual blend of folk rock and jazz. Her lyrics will always be standouts as she has a canny ability to create songs that often feel like you're listening to a painting. It's wonderfully detailed, fascinating stuff.

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Mon Aug 08 2022
5

This is an incredibly expansive album. Joni Mitchell employs various genres, instruments, and rhythms to create a kaleidoscope of sounds that remains coherent. She was beginning to explore sounds outside folk, and incorporated a fair amount of jazz into what would turn out to be an avant garde masterpiece. The back half of the album in particular resonated with me. I am fairly new to Joni Mitchell but I am already firmly convinced of her genius.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
2

This was like a time piece for someone who loathed the late 60s/early 70s.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

There are several Joni Mitchell albums I would prefer over this one, but The Hissing of Summer Lawns is still very, very good. The overall atmosphere is just very pleasant, and I like the jazziness that will be further developed on Hejira and Don Juan, probably my favourite albums from her.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
3

Pretty remarkable, even if Joni Mitchell has a voice that I seriously cannot get along with. The craft and talent are apparent but, man, that voice...

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Wed Mar 03 2021
1

So I have realized that I hate Joni Mitchell

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Fri May 14 2021
1

Not my cup of tea. Too slow and jazzy, maybe it's that I don't understand the context of the time the album was written. Almost fell asleep listening to it. Best: idek Worst: The whole album??

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

Estoy convencido de que Joni Mitchell es poeta, jaja. Ya había dicho creo que su voz me resulta agradable, relajante y aquí pasa lo mismo, si bien a diferencia del Court and Spark, acá hay más relajo respecto a las letras y sobre todo las melodías. Se nota, pues, como este intento de jazz fusionado con lo pop, lo folk y el resultado me gusta. De repente parece poesía musicalizada, pero que no todo lo sea es lo que me convence. Mis canciones favoritas fueron "The Jungle Line" y "Harry's House / Centerpiece", la primera por esos tamborcitos y todo el tono (que me enteré de que son un sample y es el primer sample reconocido en música "comercial") y la segunda por su composición y además la manera en que inserta "Centerpiece". En sí, todas me gustaron, es un bonito recorrido y a "The Boho Dance" también le tengo cariño porque Björk la covereó. Btw, "The Jungle Line" suena de repente a "Earth Intruders" en sus principios y también entiendo cada vez más que a Lana del Rey le guste Joni. 9/10

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Thu Oct 13 2022
5

Incredible. the unique vocal style of Joni mixes with meladolic instrumentation to create an otherworldly tone, when more bass-ey instruments on "The Jungle Line" are used it really succeeds in disrupting this and making you feel an uneasyness underneath. Similar sounding country for the most part to some of crosby stills and nash which makes the use of jazz piano stand out being an older musical style adds to the theme of nostalgic longing in the song that features it. Fav song: Harry's House/Centerpiece Least fav song: The whole album flows so well i cannot pick one

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Fri Jan 06 2023
5

Notes - Joni mitchell’s 7th album - Jazz-rock folk album - Ive never really listened to Joni mitchell other than her big hits - Definitely someone that I’ve missed in my musical education - Her lyrics and singing just feel effortless - Totally relaxed and natural, like she’s telling you a story and just so happens to be singing really incredibly at the same time - This album sounds and feels like nostalgia for a time I wasn’t alive in - Its “jazz” but only enough to add an extra dimension to the instrumentals Fav - Edith and the kingpin - Love the story of this song Least fav - Sweet bird - Good song, goes on a bit long 5/5 - I NEED to listen to more joni mitchell

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Tue Nov 21 2023
5

This totally warrants a relisten, but I already know it’s a 5. The Dylanesque lyrics embedded in the jazz/folk/rock texture is a treat. Also that straight-ahead blues number in “Harry’s House / Centerpiece” is outstanding.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
4

Fascinating! This Joni Mitchell could have been a boring coffeehouse singer-songwriter, but this is avant-garde coffeehouse. I love the jungle line! It reminds me of Ween. Way ahead of its time and stretching the power of the moog. Sweet bird, shadows and light, and the opening track "France" are also great. I give it 8/10 - a great album and I'm glad I listened.

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Wed Nov 08 2023
3

Growing up in Canada during the 70's, artists such as Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell have been so ingrained in our culture, I sometimes overlook the talent this country has produced. I can't call myself a Joni Mitchell fan. I appreciate her "hits" and sometimes you don't realize how much music she recorded and how many concerts she must have performed since the late 60's. I own only one Mitchell album (ok, it was part of a collection I received), Blue which is a classic, perhaps her best album, but I still wasn't blown away by her artistry. Similarly, to Young and Lightfoot, she produced a lot of "essential" records, but also a ton of duds and weird stuff. The Hissing of The Summer Lawns has some weird songs on it (The Jungle Line) and though you have to give her credit for exploring different sounds, I'm not a huge fan of synths and sampling, which she was experimenting with on this record. Most of the album has more of a jazz-pop styling and though it was pleasing to listen to, I didn't love it. For most of the Mitchell albums I've heard, there is always some bit and pieces and good tracks to appreciate her talent and I would say the same with The Hissing.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
2

Production value was better. Still don't care for the music. Joni Mitchell does not speak to me.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
2

I love the sort of free-flowing inventiveness of the song structure and the arrangements here, but none of it ever sinks in for me.

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Fri Dec 17 2021
2

The jungle line rubs me the wrong way, and with it being song #2, put me in a bad mood. She's a heck of a songwriter, and most of the music is beautiful. But overall, something that I'd most likely not put into the rotation.

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Thu May 13 2021
1

Not my thing, I did not enjoy this album.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
1

I just do not like Joni Mitchell.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

Joni Mitchell has made more than a couple of perfect albums in her career, this is one of them. So good

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Wed May 12 2021
5

I mean, Joni Mitchell is classic, and surprisingly, I’d never actually listened to one of her albums. I enjoyed this one and would look for more of her in the future.

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Sun Jul 04 2021
5

Joni knocks it out of the park on this one. Summer feels with an excellent blend of nostalgia, melancholy, and ambience.

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Tue May 18 2021
5

Mitchell is a master and this is a masterpiece

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Haven’t heard anything like it.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
5

Fantastic. The vocals and lyricism are breathtaking, and closing track was one of the biggest surprises in music for me.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

I was sort of dreading this after her more folksy albums, but it's kind of perfect. The sort of thing Air were trying to do, minus the tongue-in-cheekness.

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Fri Dec 17 2021
5

Really liked it. Eclectic and interesting.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

A happy Joni Mitchel that I din't know! Loved it! Melhor música: The Jungle Line e Shades of Scarlet Conquering

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Sun Feb 20 2022
5

mjög kosy plata mjög nice að hlusta á i like it a lot

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Thu Mar 31 2022
5

awesome album and super impressive for 1975 The Jungle Line sounds like if Tyler, The Creator produced the beat for a Björk song, and again to make a song like that in 1975 is extremely impressive overall, I love Joni Mitchell’s discography and this album is one of my favorites of hers, 10/10

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Sun May 08 2022
5

Feels like the first perfect day of summer. Jazz, folk, beautiful poetic lyrics. This might be my favourite from Joni Mitchell.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Yup. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

The Joni Mitchell hate on this website is embarrassing.

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Thu Jan 12 2023
5

5.0 + Props to Prince for promoting this stunning gem of a record. Mitchell sounds so coolly in command singing jazzy turns of phrase. Instrumentally, the album is packed with nuggets. The interplay of distorted drums and growly bass on “The Jungle Line”, along with Mitchell’s lines of coffeehouse poetry, are a true highlight on a record filled with stunning moments.

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Mon Feb 13 2023
5

so amazing. I live and die for Joni Mitchell

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Fri Feb 24 2023
5

I'm a Joni Mitchell fan but never ventured much farther than Blue. This is more experimental but truly excellent. Best song Edith and the Kingpin

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Sun May 28 2023
5

Another excellent album from Joni Mitchell, although I find the experience bogged down by ads (I do respect her stance on Joe Rogan, but why would Spotify keep someone who says misinformation about COVID over two of the greatest artists of the 70’s, the other being Neil Young). Her lyrics are amazing, as always. One song that really grabbed me instrumentally is the proto-electronic ‘The Jungle Line’ - it just stands out from a lot of other things coming out in the mid-70’s. This challenge is helping me realize Joni Mitchell’s greatness, both from this album and C&S, so 5.

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Tue Jul 04 2023
5

This is my favorite Joni album, largely due to the curve ball that is "The Jungle Line." Nothing sounds quite like that song, it's both primitive and futuristic at once. The only thing I can think of that's even comes close would be by Bjork, who came about 20 years later. It goes to show you how Joni is far from simply being just some folky singer songwriter. On the rest of the record it's like she's fronting Steely Dan, seamlessly blending genres till you don't know how to classify it. Is it jazz? Is it rock? Is it folk? I don't know... but I know I like it. She even drew the cover for God's sake! A total artist.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

badass album. wish it was on spotify

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Fri Aug 04 2023
5

There's little if anything new on the Hissing surface, and that dials the focus right to where it needs to be. There are plenty of places for familiar Mitchellian phrasing, including the bridge two-parter that works as the album-in-miniature. Happily not totally, though: Most tracks seem to be doing something a little bit outside while returning to the timeless voice in the end. Even the end end.

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Mon Aug 07 2023
5

Fuck she's good hey. Harry's House/Centrepiece is an incredible song. Fond memories of her voice accompanying me and Alexander on a drive through the Blue Mountains while visiting Charlotte. Double J were doing a deep dive on Blue.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
5

Vraiment un bon album de Joni Mitchell. super artiste ! Certains n'aiment pas le arrangemetns musicaux sur cette album. J'ai trouvé ca vraiment bien, mais c,est toujours la voix et les paroles de Joni mitchell qui se démarque. 5

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Sun Oct 15 2023
5

9/10. Glad to get a great album for number 1001, and one that I hadn't listened to yet, despite hearing it was really good after listening to some of the other Joni Mitchell album on the list. Definitely something I want to return to.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

All of Joni's albums belong in the top 1001. The Hissing of Summer Lawns isn't my favorite of hers but I definitely pull it out once in a while.

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Thu Nov 02 2023
5

Joni Mitchell was always one of my blind spots so during quarantine a few years ago I downloaded a bunch of her albums. This one and Hejira really knocked my socks off.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
5

It was like listening to a stone cat on mushrooms with a fur coat as a pillow

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Tue Nov 07 2023
5

Its a bit controversial but I'm gonna say this is one of the best albums of that decade. The production value alone is amazing. It spans genres and emotions. Joni Mitchell was on 🔥

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

A excellent understated album from a fantastic songwriter.

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Mon Jan 29 2024
5

cetait super ( bring back joni on spotify)

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

Creative and lushly arranged and a little weird in the right ways. Joni Mitchell's musical choices here are often surprising and adventurous, but still pleasing on the ears. The stories Joni weaves with her lyrics are vibrant and engaging, worth reading on their own as poetry. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): The Jungle Line, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Shades of Scarlett Conquering, Edith and the Kingpin, Don't Interrupt the Sorrow, In France They Kiss on Main Street, Sweet Bird, The Boho Dance, Harry's House, Shadows and Light

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Fri Feb 09 2024
5

Well, I’ve always thought I need to listen to a Joni Mitchell album. I’ve heard quite bit about her unorthodox guitar style, and interesting song structures, beyond her unique vocals. However, I’m not much of a fan of folk music, so I’ve been wary. Well, I listened, and WOW. I really had no idea. This is not what I expected! Among the things I read about this album is that the drums on “The Jungle Line” is essentially a sample, and possibly the first-ever. Not sure if the little horn part at the end of the drum loop is part of the sample or not, but that loop is fire. These songs really transport you when you listen to them. So many great little touches. Love that the album flirts with jazz for much of the album, and at one point one track just completely becomes a jazz tune. But yeah, I find myself so lost in the songs I become unaware of the song structure. Am I in a chorus? Is it a verse? A bridge? The songs just feel like you're getting a tour of some place you've never been. You take a right, you take a left, where are you? Who knows, who cares, it works. And that's some genius-level shit. I get why people love Joni Mitchell now. I like this album WAAAAYYYYY more than I ever thought I would.

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Fri Feb 09 2024
5

Loved the avant-garde jazz influence on this album. They are so subtle and so calm, not overbearing at all, just what I like. Fav song from the list has got to be Shades of Scarlet Conquering. Really digged this album.

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Tue Feb 13 2024
5

Nearly everything seems slightly off on this soulful record. The singing performance goes its own way - accordingly to the political, feminist and idiosyncratic lyrics. The instrumental backing is nicely off, too. Jazzy, arbitrary but also restrained im davor of Joni’s Voice without being castrated. 4.5

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Mon Mar 11 2024
5

Joni is someone who, like PJ Harvey - every time I listen to her, I'm like, "WHY am I not listening to her more?!".

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Wed Mar 13 2024
5

This is when Joni was leaning toward Jazz influences and it was for the better.

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Wed Mar 20 2024
5

A lovely album that was on the ramblier storytelling side of Joni Mitchell. Everything was new to me and I loved it!

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Wed Mar 20 2024
5

Brought to mind a late summer supper of fresh tomatoes and basil and corn on the cob, chatting on the patio with friends in the fading light. Love.

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Wed Mar 20 2024
5

Not familiar with these tunes from Joni, and some meander a bit more than I typically care to listen to, but Joni makes it all sound so wonderful!

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Wed Mar 20 2024
5

I've listened to several Joni Mitchell albums from the 70s, but this one is the most 70s of them, I think. That's not a bad thing. It just feels a little less timeless than the others. Favorite misheard lyric: "Edith Ann, the Kingpin."

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Wed Apr 03 2024
5

Some of the best albums I have experienced are the ones which defy categorization and genre bend. Prime example, this one. I love how everything weaves around her vocals and narrative. This holds some very unique experimentation, too.

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Sun Apr 14 2024
5

Joni ….. youngsters won’t get it but this album is astounding. Just listen …….

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Thu Sep 17 2020
4

First half much better than the second

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

Great pop album. Solid from start to finish.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
4

Like this much better note than I did years ago

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Mon Feb 22 2021
4

What a strange album. I love Joni Mitchell's voice. This album is an album that doesn't know it's own genre. I didn't know a single song, but would listen again.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

very relaxing and sweet, nice voice and good riffs

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

Yeah that was good I liked it

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

Ahh, não devia ter ouvido o Blue antes desse, né? Agora fico querendo comparar os dois e não tem como algo bater aquele álbum incrível. Mas esse é muito bom!

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

Approaching a masterpiece, this album is quite an experience! Much more sonically diverse than her other stuff I've heard, and the lyrics are so profound. Way to kill it again, Joni!

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Well this was an interesting listen. Definitely an experimental time, Joni must have been influenced by synthesizers, jazz and progressive rock as much as her previous style. There are definitely some words and lyrics which I didn't understand. This could be as much the way she chooses to sing them as much as the words themselves. I feel like I'm missing something in the lyrics, it could be the age of the album. It could be the way she sings. Perhaps someone more familiar with both the 1970s and Joni would know. Overall, I enjoyed it and would probably listen again. 7/10

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Well how could you not enjoy this album? No clue.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
4

I never listened to Joni Mitchell at all until this album, and while it was a great album, it just didn't resonate with me. I even listened to this twice at work, and i still couldn't feel this...if it makes sense. " Don't Interrupt The Sorrow" was definitely the best song of the album, which was incredibly well done, and i still give this high marks, maybe i'm just crazy, or the next listen-to will change things for me.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

NO es el Blue, pero es un disco mayúsculo

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Thu Mar 11 2021
4

I now understand one of the places music I like came from.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
4

Cantautora de 70's. Voz preciosa, agelical.

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

“The Hissing of Summer Lawns” by Joni Mitchell (1975) Lyrics. Lyrics. Lyrics. To appreciate this album is to immerse oneself in the Lyrics. Here Joni Mitchell demonstrates her superlatively intelligent transformation of serious thoughts and feelings into meaningful sound. Her poetry is smart without being pretentiously erudite. She employs highly referential subject matter in service to exquisitely feminine introspection and evocation. Each line is vivid. Each phrase punctuated by perfectly placed consonants, begging a listener like me to shut down my interior (male) voice and surrender my attention to her. Joni Mitchell could get me to do anything. If I were so fortunate as to take her out on a date, my first words to her would be “Conquer me, Scarlett.” Musically, this is a very well produced album, well executed and recorded, and very appealing (if the listener has developed a taste for both jazz and folk—in that order). Dispensing with standard structures and melodic conventions, she walks her own path. Glad to follow. 4/5

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Thu Apr 29 2021
4

Me pareció sonicamente mucho más llamativo que el anterior qie escuchamos de ella. A pesar de que son canciones con tonos que usualmente no me interesan, la verdad sí disfruté mucho este disco, melancolía y dulzura. Canciones favs: Harry's house y shadows and light. Mood: estoy muriendo?

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Tue May 04 2021
4

Sets it's stall out in the first 20 seconds: "Downtown My darling dime store thief In the War of Independence Rock 'n' roll rang sweet as victory" Lyrically very striking, musiclly interesting. Liked it a lot. Feels like it would have more to give on repeat listens. 4/5

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Tue Jun 15 2021
4

My mom used to listen to her a lot. Makes me feel like I should be in the 70s listening to this.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

I didn’t love it, because it was Joni Mitchell I was tempted to score high, but maybe it’s not as high as I think

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Sonically and lyrically interesting. I would probably revisit this one a few times to see if I can make more sense of it.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

Joni is good for all moods. 🙌🏼

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